The Carolina Panthers made an aggressive move earlier this month, trading multiple picks along with star wideout D.J. Moore to the Chicago Bears for the right to make the first selection in the 2023 NFL Draft. Following this move, Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud became the heavy favorite in Vegas to be the No. 1 overall pick, and at his Pro Day on Wednesday, the Panthers will have plenty of representation.
Per Albert Breer of the MMQB, Carolina will have nearly a dozen representatives at Ohio State's Pro Day: Owners David and Nicole Tepper, general manager Scott Fitterer, head coach Frank Reich, assistant general manager Dan Morgan, VP Samir Suleiman, offensive coordinator Thomas Brown, quarterbacks coach Josh McCown, senior assistant Jim Caldwell, scouting director Cole Spencer and scout Joel Patten. The Panthers are also bringing three digital media staffers.
NFL Media reports that Stroud met with the Panthers earlier this week ahead of his Pro Day, and he plans to meet with the franchise again in Charlotte before the draft.
Carolina will have to make what is likely the toughest decision of the draft. Will the Panthers tab Stroud, Alabama's Bryce Young or Florida's Anthony Richardson as their new franchise quarterback? Stroud is responsible for half of the seasons with 40 passing touchdowns in Big Ten history (two of four). He was a two-time Heisman finalist, and the Buckeyes averaged 44.4 points per game with him as the starting quarterback. He may be the most polished passer in this class, and he threw for 8,123 yards, 85 touchdowns and 12 interceptions over the past two seasons.
While Stroud initially saw his odds to be selected No. 1 overall shoot up after the trade, he currently sits at -160, per Caesars Sportsbook. Young is behind him at +150, and then Richardson is +450. However, zero of CBS Sports' four NFL Draft experts have Stroud going No. 1 overall in their most recent mocks.