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2023 NFL Draft: Panthers attend Ohio State’s Pro Day in force

At least twelve of the Panthers top decision makers are in Columbus today

Carolina Panthers Introduce Frank Reich as Head Coach Photo by David Jensen/Getty Images

It will come as no surprise that the Carolina Panthers are in Columbus, Ohio today to watch C.J. Stroud’s pro day at Ohio State University. This is expected as part of their due diligence into all of the top quarterbacks in the 2023 NFL Draft. What may come as a surprise is that the organization is in attendance with at least twelve of their top decision makers. Owners David and Nicole Tepper, general manager Scott Fitterer, head coach Frank Reich, assistant general manager Dan Morgan, vice president of football adminsitration Samir Suleiman, senior personnel executive Jeff Morrow, offensive coordinator Thomas Brown, quarterbacks coach Josh McCown, senior assistant coach Jim Caldwell, scouting director Cole Spencer, and scout Joel Patten are all in Columbus for today’s show.

That’s a lot of brass in one location, but we should all stop short of betting our life savings on the Panthers taking Stroud with the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. The team is being thorough—a word that you will likely hear ten thousand more times between now and April 27th.

They met privately with Stroud yesterday and will have another pre-draft meeting with him in the next month. The only thing that sets Stroud apart from the other top quarterbacks (Bryce Young, Anthony Richardson, and Will Levis) is the meeting before the pro day. Alabama’s pro day is tomorrow with Young and Kentucky’s will be Friday of this week with Levis. That means the Panthers will be unable to have a private meeting before the pro days of either Young or Levis due to scheduling. Richardson’s pro day at the University of Florida will be on March 30th (next Thursday). We’ll have to see how they treat that.

This could all be an excessive commitment to being thorough, a poor smokescreen to disguise their interest in Stroud, or a true indication that the Panthers haven’t decided which quarterback they will ultimately take.