A month from the start of the 2023 NFL Draft, the Panthers have whittled their options for the No. 1 overall pick down to two quarterbacks, according to ESPN: Ohio State's C.J. Stroud and Alabama's Bryce Young. Perhaps even more notable, David Newton reports, is the fact coach Frank Reich doesn't view height -- the biggest knock against Young -- as a legitimate concern.
Reich addressed reporters at Tuesday's owners meetings and was "clearer than he has (been) at any point during the process," per Newton, that durability -- not height -- factors prominently into the Panthers' QB evaluations. And Young, who is 5-foot-10, missed just one game during his college career. He also boasts the accuracy, instincts, leadership and playmaking ability to warrant a top selection, Reich suggested, making the Crimson Tide product a viable candidate to go No. 1 overall.
Reich spoke highly of other prospects, even indicating that Florida's Anthony Richardson boasts highlights worthy of a top pick. But Carolina has effectively ruled out Richardson and Kentucky's Will Levis for the No. 1 selection, Newton reports.
Stroud, who is 6-foot-3 and widely considered one of the most polished passers of his class, would fit the more prototypical mold of pocket QBs Reich has favored during his career. He is projected to be the Panthers' pick in CBS Sports' latest 2023 mock draft.