Draft Countdown: Panthers expected to pick from 4 QB prospects

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Carolina Panthers fans are most likely aware of four quarterbacks who are the top options for the 2023 NFL Draft: C.J. Stroud, Anthony Richardson, Will Levis, and Bryce Young.

The team has heavily scouted four of the top quarterback prospects in this year’s draft. In the sections below, we’re breaking down what each of the four players has to offer.

CJ Stroud, Ohio State

The two-time Heisman finalist had found plenty of success as the Ohio Buckeyes’ starter in just two years.

Stroud ended his career in the Big Ten with the best passer efficiency rating of all time at 182.4, topping players like Drew Brees, Tom Brady and Justin Fields.

Regardless of who picks him, Stroud says he’s enjoyed his time meeting with the Panthers.

“It’s definitely interesting, the things that they’ve done. I love their staff,” Stroud said. “I’ve gotten to meet with them a couple times now and everything they’ve said to me is something I want to be a part of.”

Will Levis, Kentucky

The 23-year-old has made a name for himself throughout the draft process on the strength of a very big arm. He brought the most attention his former college team has seen in pro day history, officials told Channel 9.

And Levis isn’t shying away from the spotlight -- he comes into the draft with plenty of confidence.

“I think with my experience and my football knowledge and ability, I think I’m able to be assimilated into any offensive system,” Levis said.

Even though he is known for his arm talent, Levis hopes to improve on other parts of his game, no matter where he ends up.

“Just improving accuracy with efficient movements,” Levis said. “I have as talented an arm as anybody, and even when I don’t have efficient movements and I’m off base a little bit, I can still pull it off because of how strong my arm is.”

Bryce Young, Alabama

The former Crimson Tide quarterback presents the skillset of a franchise quarterback. But it is almost impossible to hear an analysis of the former Heisman Trophy winner that doesn’t mention his height. The average NFL quarterback measures 6 feet, 3 inches tall, while Young is 5 feet, 10 inch tall.

However, history has proven being tall isn’t the only key to success, with stories like Drew Brees and Derek Carr.

Young showed at his pro day that he has the chance to shine at the next level. He showed he’ll take the mindset he had in college to wherever he lands in the NFL.

“It’s a really unique environment,” Young said. “Whenever you’re playing football, if it’s practice, your hearing yelling and screaming from coaches and game there’s a bunch of fans. It’s a really unique environment but at the end of the day, it’s still football.”

Anthony Richardson, Florida

The former Florida Gator has made waves with his athleticism and speed throughout his pre-draft showings. Some league analysts say he is not quite as polished in the passing game. However, Richardson has drawn comparisons to former Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.

Richardson measured just over 6 feet, 4 inches tall and 246 pounds. Newton stood at 6 feet, 5 inches and 248 at his pro day.

Richardson also impressed with his athletic testing. He ran a 4.44 40-yard dash and recorded a 40.5 vertical jump.

Richardson hopes to prove his work ethic will lead to success.

“I’m a workhorse you know? I’m going to work to be the greatest, I’m going to continue to work,” Richardson said. “A lot of people say I have a lot of things to clean up so I’m definitely going to try to clean those things up.”

>> Channel 9 is your source for NFL Draft coverage. Our LIVE coverage continues Thursday night for the NFL Draft. The countdown to the draft starts at 7 p.m. Thursday on Channel 9.

Wednesday’s coverage:

(WATCH BELOW: Panthers coach on No. 1 draft pick, free agency moves: ‘We mean business’)

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