Ohio State’s pro day had a large contingent of coaches, scouts and even NFL team owners on hand mostly to watch the potential first overall pick, quarterback CJ Stroud, go through drills.
Stroud and Alabama’s Bryce Young are the consensus top two quarterbacks, and in turn, the top two picks in the 2023 NFL Draft in late April, which is why many looked on as he had a positive day in Columbus.
The Carolina Panthers own the first overall pick in the Draft after making a blockbuster trade with the Chicago Bears to acquire it. Team owner David Tepper, new head Frank Reich and more were there to get an up-close look at their potential new quarterback.
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Perhaps that’s exactly what they’re thinking about doing with that top pick after what quarterbacks coach Josh McCown had to say to Stroud.
McCown was caught on camera talking to Stroud after his workout.
"You spun it well bro. That was great," McCown said.
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After shaking hands with Tepper and Reich, McCown spoke to Stroud one more time about playing a game of horse on a basketball court. In doing so, McCown said this:
"Maybe when you live in Charlotte, we’ll find a court."
Stroud laughed and said, "I’m going to take his money"
Most NFL teams like to keep their draft plans under wraps, but in the Panthers’ case, they traded up because they’re in the market for a quarterback. And since no other team picks before them, making comments like these to Stroud aren’t all that bad.
Reports coming from the Pro Day found Stroud to be impressive with his arm strength and command of the football while throwing. ESPN’s Louis Riddick noted that Stroud showed a "maturity" and "a unique leadership style" while running through the drills, something he feels is worthy of that first overall pick.
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Stroud’s junior season saw 3,688 yards with 41 touchdowns to six interceptions in 13 games after throwing for 4,435 yards with 44 touchdowns to six picks in 2021.
Despite those highly impressive numbers, Stroud finished fourth in 2021 Heisman Trophy voting, losing to Young, and third this past season after USC’s Caleb Williams was named the winner.
Still, Stroud’s physical and mental abilities in the game has experts believing the Panthers are set on him being their next franchise quarterback, which they’ve been searching for since Cam Newton’s play diminished in 2019.