Panthers decide on QB to draft — but who remains a secret

Field Level Media

April 25, 2023 at 9:35 pm.

Carolina Panthers coach Frank Reich said Tuesday that the team has reached a consensus on which quarterback it will take with the No. 1 overall pick in Thursday’s NFL draft.

Good luck shaking that information out of the new Panthers coach.

“We’ll announce that Thursday at about 8 o’clock,” Reich said during a press conference.

Reich said the consensus was reached Monday during a conversation with general manager Scott Fitterer.

“He came into my office yesterday at some point, and asked the question,” Reich said. “It was kind of like a proposal of sorts. And I said yes. There is consensus, and we’re excited.”

The Panthers have been dissecting the top four quarterbacks in the draft — Alabama’s Bryce Young, Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud, Kentucky’s Will Levis and Florida’s Anthony Richardson.

Young was been viewed as the favorite to be tabbed first, while Stroud also has believers that feel he is the best quarterback in the draft.

Reich said the Panthers have conducted a thorough evaluation of all the possible choices.

“There was ebbs and flows during the process,” Reich said. “… I don’t want to say there’s any drastic change of mind, but there’s ebbs and flows of how much you like a guy. And that’s why you have to resist the temptation of making your mind up too early, right?

“So I thought we as a scouting staff and coaches did a good job of not falling into that trap. Just take it for what it is. Take it day by day. Go on these visits, watch tape. Go through the process. Continue to evaluate and talk it through.”

The Panthers went 7-10 last season for their fifth consecutive losing campaign.

Since the decline of former star Cam Newton, Carolina has gone through signal callers such as Kyle Allen (2019), Teddy Bridgewater (2020), Sam Darnold (2021-22), Baker Mayfield (2022) and PJ Walker (2022) without finding a capable starter.

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