With less than a month until the start of the NFL draft, the Panthers are reportedly almost settled on what they’ll do with the top pick.
Carolina—which acquired the No. 1 pick in a trade with the Bears earlier this month—has narrowed its selections down to a pair of big-name quarterbacks, according to ESPN’s David Newton: Alabama’s Bryce Young and Ohio State’s CJ Stroud.
The biggest knock against Young, the 2021 Heisman Trophy winner, is his diminutive stature. Young measured in at 5’10” and 204 pounds, and the Panthers are concerned that his relatively small frame could lead to durability issues in the pros. Stroud is listed at 6’3” and 214 pounds.
Newton reports that the team is still keeping Kentucky quarterback Will Levis and Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson under consideration, but that Young and Stroud remain the frontrunners.
The Panthers traded four picks—this year’s No. 9 pick, a 2023 second-rounder, a 2024 first-rounder and a 2024 second-rounder—along with wide receiver DJ Moore to Chicago in exchange for this year’s top pick. This will be the second time in franchise history that Carolina picks first in the draft. The first instance came in 2011, when the team chose quarterback Cam Newton.