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#pounditTuesday, February 27, 2024

Panthers considering surprise move with No. 1 overall pick?

Frank Reich looks ahead

Jan 31, 2023; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers head coach Frank Reich speaks at his introductory press conference at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Griffin Zetterberg-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Panthers have been on the clock in the 2023 NFL Draft for several weeks, but they apparently remain undecided about which quarterback they like the most.

Most analysts believe the Panthers will take either Bryce Young or CJ Stroud with the No. 1 overall pick. However, Joseph Person of The Athletic was told by a source with knowledge of the situation that Anthony Richardson remains in the mix to go first overall.

Carolina traded two first-round picks, two second-round picks and star wide receiver DJ Moore to the Chicago Bears last month to move from No. 9 up to first overall. Now that they have the top pick, there is no need for them to leak false information to mislead rivals. Unless, of course, the Panthers have considered trading back, which Person has not ruled out.

Person, who has covered the Panthers for years, believes it is possible that Carolina could swap places with the Houston Texans, who currently have the No. 2 pick. If they truly believe in Richardson, the Panthers could recoup some draft capital by trading places with the Texans and then still drafting the former Florida star. The Texans probably would not be inclined to move up unless they had a strong preference for one of Stroud or Young.

Richardson is viewed as arguably the most physically talented player in the draft, but he is a raw prospect who may not be ready to start right away.

One longtime NFL insider believes the Panthers have already made up their minds about which quarterback they like at No. 1. If they swing a deal to trade back, many of those predictions will go out the window.

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