It’s becoming increasingly obvious that the Carolina Panthers will be choosing between Alabama’s Bryce Young or Ohio State’s CJ Stroud with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft after acquiring it from the Chicago Bears, and according to Adam Schefter, they have a favorite.
“They made the bold move last week to trade up to get to No. 1. And now, they’ll sift through the quarterback options,” Schefter said on Thursday’s episode of NFL Live. “And I think going into the process of evaluating the quarterbacks, I think that Bryce Young is the favorite to become the No. 1 overall pick.”
If what Schefter says is true, Young is the clubhouse leader with a month and a half left to make a final decision on the team’s new franchise quarterback.
“I think Bryce Young is to the Panthers what Mac Jones was to the 49ers when they traded up,” he added, comparing the Panthers’ situation to the approach San Francisco took in 2021. “They traded up with the idea that they really liked Mac Jones, and then they went through the process and wound up with Trey Lance.
I think in this particular case, this team moved up with the idea that Bryce Young was a guy that they loved. They also really like CJ Stroud—he’s definitely got support within the organization. And we’ll see what transpires in the course of evaluations.”
It’s certainly intriguing from Schefter, as it seems like even though Bryce Young is the favorite, CJ Stroud to the Panthers hasn’t been ruled out.
The Panthers traded the No. 9 overall pick last week, as well as the 61st overall pick, a 2024 first-rounder, a 2025 second-rounder and wide receiver DJ Moore to the Bears for the first pick, per Anthony Rizutti of Panthers Wire.
The Panthers’ brass will travel to Columbus for Stroud’s pro day on Mar. 22, before watching Young perform the day after with the clock ticking before the 2023 NFL Draft.