NFL insider: CJ Stroud is the apple of the Panthers’ eye
It’s no secret that the Carolina Panthers, regardless of who they hire as their next head coach, must find themselves their next quarterback as well. And it seems as though they have an early target.
NFL reporter Benjamin Allbright joined WFNZ’s Mac & Bone on Thursday morning to discuss the current (and fluctuating) state of the Panthers. Other than the team’s coaching search, what also came up was their hunt for a franchise passer—a journey that could see them try for Ohio State University standout CJ Stroud.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if they were the team that traded all the way to No. 1,” Allbright said. “I do think CJ Stroud [is] the apple of their eye—obviously the scouting process hasn’t completely played out yet. But I do think, talking to people, CJ is kinda the guy they’ve kinda eyeballed.”
Stroud has been one of the most productive quarterbacks in the country over the last two seasons—throwing for a combined 8,123 yards, 85 touchdowns and just 12 interceptions. While he does not do any one thing at a particularly elite level, the Heisman Trophy finalist is an extremely well-rounded and polished player—with high-level accuracy, arm strength and ability to diagnose whatever the defense is throwing at him.
His last game, in particular, left a considerable impression. Stroud’s improvisational skills and playmaking ability were on full display against the eventual National Champion Georgia Bulldogs—answering questions many had of him entering the contest.
As Allbright noted, the Panthers may even trade all the way up to the first overall selection—currently held by the Chicago Bears. And if they ultimately believe Stroud is the guy who can lead this franchise out of mediocrity, then it’s a jump that might be worth taking.
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