Carolina Panthers, NFL Draft

Did Josh McCown spoil the Panthers plan for No. 1 pick?

The Carolina Panthers hold the first-overall selection in the 2023 NFL Draft and are in need of a quarterback. Did assistant coach Josh McCown spoil their pick?

The Carolina Panthers let the entire league know that they were selecting one of the top quarterback prospects in this year’s NFL Draft by acquiring the No. 1 pick from the Chicago Bears. It took multiple high draft picks and wide receiver D.J. Moore to acquire the selection, now they have to decide which prospect to take.

On Wednesday, the Panthers attended Ohio State’s Pro Day, where quarterback C.J. Stroud was throwing for interested teams. Carolina head coach Frank Reich and quarterback coach Josh McCown were in the front row watching Stroud’s drill. Afterward, multiple members of the Panthers organization met with Stroud.

As the Panthers were leaving, WKYC sports producer and photographer Shawn Dunagan caught a bit of the conversation McCown and Stroud were having. McCown discussed playing a game of horse, to which Stroud said that there was a court at the Buckeyes facility. That is when NFL Twitter began deciphering what McCown said. Some felt that he said “maybe when you live in Charlotte, we’ll find a court.”

Did Josh McCown spoil the Panthers first-overall pick?

While some felt like that is what McCown said, when you listen closely it sounds like he says “maybe when you’re in Charlotte, we’ll find a court.”

Considering that there is still over a month remaining until the first round of the NFL Draft, don’t look to much into this. It is likely that Stroud will be brought in to Charlotte for a pre-draft visit, as they begin to make their decision as to which quarterback they will select.

Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer told the team’s website that they had dinner with Stroud on Tuesday night. On Wednesday night, the Panthers contingency is heading to Tuscaloosa, AL to attend Bryce Young’s pro day on March 23. In fact, they are having dinner with Young on Wednesday night, per The MMQB’s Albert Breer.

Carolina is doing their due diligence throughout the pre-draft process. They still have Kentucky’s Will Levis’ pro day on March 24 and Florida’s Anthony Richardson’s pro day on March 30. But, it seems like Stroud has made a very strong first impression on the Panthers. We shall see if he will be the quarterback they select first overall on Apr. 27.

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