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2023 NFL Draft Odds: C.J. Stroud A Lock At No. 1 After Impressive Pro Day?

Former Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud had another opportunity to impress the Carolina Panthers during Ohio State’s Pro Day on Wednesday. Carolina sent a large contingent to Columbus, including owner David Tepper, to take another look at the prospect before they select No. 1 overall in next month’s NFL Draft. The latest 2023 NFL Draft odds show Stroud as a heavy favorite to become the Panthers’ quarterback of the future.

2023 NFL Draft Odds: Panthers to Select C.J. Stroud?

DraftKings Sportsbook listed C.J. Stroud as a heavy favorite to go to Carolina immediately after they acquired the first pick from the Chicago Bears. Those odds shrunk a bit with some bettors convinced the Panthers may still opt to select Alabama quarterback Bryce Young or Florida QB Anthony Richardson. But after the Pro Day, Stroud (-200 on DraftKings) was once again a heavy favorite to go No. 1 overall.

The Panthers’ large contingent of head coach Frank Reich, offensive coordinator Thomas Brown, senior assistant Jim Caldwell, quarterbacks coach Josh McCown, assistant G.M. Dan Morgan and vice president of football administration Samir Suleiman spent Tuesday meeting with Stroud before the Pro Day performance.

“Very likable. Really knows football. It’s not too big for him,” Panthers General Manager Scott Fitterer said after Ohio State’s Pro Day, per PFT. “He’s very comfortable being in that environment and being in command.

“We had a great two-and-a-half-hour dinner with him. Really [as] impressive off the field as he was on.”

The Panthers appear to be all-in on Stroud by every indication, but they still plan to do their due diligence on Richardson, Young and Kentucky quarterback Will Levis before making their franchise-altering decision.

“We’ll get to see these first three quarterbacks back to back to back,” Fitterer said. “It’s a really good assessment of each guy, and we can talk about it. And at the end of this, we can sit down and kind of work through the hard decision-making process.

“You can never have enough information. You want to make the most informed decision. By doing that, you want to look at every option out there. Then you can feel really good that you’ve gone through the right process and your decision-making.”

Based on the latest 2023 NFL Draft odds, it would be a long shot for anyone other than C.J. Stroud to become the Panthers’ selection. But we have been surprised by some picks in the past, and a lot could still change before the NFL Draft takes place.

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