For ESPN football analyst Mel Kiper, CJ Stroud of the Ohio State Buckeyes should be the top overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. In his latest NFL mock draft, Kiper placed Stroud on top of everybody else, including Bryce Young of the Alabama Crimson Tide and Will Levis of the Kentucky Wildcats.

CJ Stroud and Bryce Young have been garnering so much attention at the moment, as discussions and debates continue to rage about which of the two quarterbacks should be taken first.  The Carolina Panthers currently hold the answer to that, as the NFC South division franchise owns the right to pick first after acquiring the No. 1 selection from the Chicago Bears via a trade.

In three years with the Buckeyes, CJ Stroud passed for 8,123 yards and 85 touchdowns against only 12 interceptions, while completing 69.3 percent of his throws. Bryce Young, on the other hand, spent three years as well in college, all with the Crimson Tide, and amassed 8,356 passing yards with 80 touchdowns and only 12 interceptions on a 65.8 percent accuracy rate.

Kiper praised the abilities of both CJ Stroud and Bryce Young but also drew the line on the size difference between the two talented signal-callers. Stroud is the bigger one, standing at 6-4, while Young is at 6-0.

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The Panthers still have plenty of time to come down with a decision on which player they would use their No. 1 pick on, which would very much likely be a quarterback. Amid a series of big moves so far in the offseason aimed at improving their offense, the Panthers are still on the lookout for a long-term answer under center.

Carolina recently signed veteran Andy Dalton to a two-year deal and they also still have the pair of Matt Corral and Jacob Eason under center, but none of those quarterbacks radiate with as much hope for the franchise as someone like CJ Stroud or Bryce Young.

The Houston Texans will be picking second overall in the 2023 NFL Draft while the Arizona Cardinals are third.

When is the 2023 NFL Draft?

The 2023 NFL Draft is scheduled to take place from April 27 to April 29 in Kansas City, Missouri.