As the landscape of the 2023 NFL draft currently sits, the Carolina Panthers can’t be complacent if they want themselves one of the class’ top quarterback prospects. Because good luck getting one staying at No. 9, right?
Well, the Panthers got some luck in Daniel Jeremiah’s first mock draft of the season. On Friday, the NFL.com media analyst projected Ohio State University’s CJ Stroud—one of the top three players at his position—to land right in Carolina’s lap.
“Sam Darnold put together some solid performances for the Panthers late in the season, but I still believe they will look to the draft to find their long-term solution at the position,” Jeremiah writes. “Stroud is big, strong and accurate. He flashed some creativity and playmaking against Georgia, and that was a pleasant surprise for evaluators.”
Stroud was preceded in this mock by the University of Alabama’s Bryce Young (drafted second overall by the Houston Texans) and the University of Kentucky’s Will Levis (drafted fourth overall by the Indianapolis Colts).
A lot will change between now until April 27. But if the Panthers can get their guy while keeping their draft capital away from a trade up or a trade for a certain head coach, what a win that would be.