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Carolina Panthers

2023 Mock Draft Report 5.0: Entering draft month


CHARLOTTE – The Panthers are on the clock.

We've reached the month of April, and the 2023 NFL Draft is right around the corner. Carolina will make the first selection in this year's draft.

A portion of the media predicted the Panthers to go with Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud, while ESPN's Mike Tannebaum saw them going in a different direction.

View a selection of the latest mock drafts below:
QB C.J. Stroud
Ohio State

Cynthia Frelund: In my models, Stroud has the highest floor of any QB in Year 1. Why? He has the sturdiest base, per computer vision. This means that his ability to throw, even when his platform isn’t ideal (like when he’s under pressure), forecasts to result in the fewest turnover-worthy plays.
QB Bryce Young

Mike Tannebaum: I'd be going all-in on Young. It was a tough call for me, and I just narrowly picked him over Ohio State's C.J Stroud. But while Young's 5-foot-10, 204-pound size is a concern, his talent is unquestionable. He's the guy I'd lean on to turn the passing game around in Carolina. Since 2019, no Panthers QB has thrown more than 17 touchdown passes in a season. That would change in 2023 with Young, who had 79 TD passes over the past two seasons, tossing precision passes.

CBS Sports
QB C.J. Stroud
Ohio State

Ryan Wilson: C.J. Stroud had a great pro day and it further solidified his case as one of the top two QBs in this draft class. We've heard that the Panthers are high on Stroud -- and for now, we have him going No. 1 because it's easy to envision him transitioning from Ohio State to a Carolina staff that includes Frank Reich and Jim Caldwell.

QB C.J. Stroud
Ohio State

Michael Renner: Stroud makes sense as a safer bet for a team in search of a franchise quarterback. He possesses easily the best fundamentals of any of the top quarterbacks and brings a high floor with the accuracy he showed at Ohio State (highest on-target rate of any quarterback in the class last year).

QB C.J. Stroud
Ohio State

Bruce Feldman: Stroud is worthy of the top overall pick. He checks every relevant box. Buckeye coaches have been raving to NFL personnel about his intelligence, according to sources. He is extremely accurate; can make all the throws; has played (and excelled) in many big-game situations; is very football smart; and sees the field well (even if it’s “muddy”).

Draft Network
QB C.J. Stroud (via CHI)
Ohio State

Damian Parson: The Panthers need to find stability at the most important position in football, quarterback. C.J. Stroud is the best quarterback and purest passer in the class. Stroud’s accuracy and ball placement fit this offense well. Completing the build around Stroud could make them favorites in the NFC South in the near future.

View photos of head coach Frank Reich and general manager Scott Fitterer from their press conferences and interviews with the media at the Combine on Wednesday.