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2023 NFL Draft Odds: C.J. Stroud Now Heavily Favored to Go No. 1 After Panthers-Bears Trade

Is C.J. Stroud the Carolina Panthers quarterback of the future? The latest NFL Draft odds show that sportsbooks certainly think so. Despite Alabama quarterback Bryce Young being the consensus favorite to go No. 1 for most of the NFL offseason, the odds now heavily favor Stroud after the Panthers agreed to a deal with the Chicago Bears for the first overall pick.

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CJ Stroud NFL Draft Odds Skyrocket Following Panthers-Bears Trade

Just last week, Bryce Young was the favorite to go first overall. Now, Stroud (-350 on DraftKings Sportsbook) is the heavy favorite to be selected by the Panthers next month. He is followed by Young (+275), Anthony Richardson (+380) and Will Levis (+3000).

The move comes after the Panthers parted ways with receiver D.J. Moore (and two first-round picks) to move up the board from the ninth pick to No. 1. Stroud was a heavy underdog to go first overall before he impressed scouts and NFL coaches with his performance at the NFL Combine last weekend.

Stroud’s NFL Draft odds rise also comes after ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Panthers owner David Tepper has been enamored by the Ohio State product.

“Just hung up the phone with someone in the organization,” Schefter stated,”And I said, ‘There’s a belief that David Tepper loves Bryce Young, Frank Reich likes CJ Stroud.’ And they said, ‘We love all these quarterbacks and we’ve got 48 days to make a decision on which one we will be taking.’

“But, clearly, they felt comfortable in giving up the compensation that they did to move up eight slots to procure the No. 1 overall draft pick ahead of the other teams that were interested in getting that particular pick.”

Stroud has been the Ohio State quarterback for the previous two years. He completed 66.3% of passes for 3,688 yards, with 44 touchdowns this past season. Stroud was especially impressive in the semifinal loss to the Georgia Bulldogs, completing 22 of 34 passes for 348 yards and four touchdowns, adding 34 yards on the ground.

Now that we know who will be picking first overall, it is more clear which prospect will be selected. Based on the latest NFL Draft odds, C.J. Stroud is likely going to be hearing his name called first.

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