The NFL Draft is back with all eyes on the future of the league when it begins on Thursday April 27th.
The Carolina Panthers are the ones with the first pick and a quarterback is certain to go first, but there are a number of choices there for them to pick from with four standing out ahead of the rest of the pack.
We'll take a look at those four choices for the Panthers and provide you with our best free NFL picks to see if we can earn you some extra cash from the decision too.
|NFL Draft First Pick|
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NFL Draft 2023 information
- Thursday April 27th 2023 - Saturday April 29th 2023
- Union Station, Kansas City
- Carolina Panthers have first pick
NFL Draft 2023 #1 Overall pick favorites
Below is a list of the favorites to be picked first in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Bryce Young - Alabama - Quarterback (-1600)
The Carolina Panthers appear to be locked on Bryce Young as the first overall pick after trading up with the Chicago Bears.
Young's No. 1 overall draft odds continue to shorten largely because of how well he performed on the league's S2 cognition test which measures how quickly a quarterback makes split-second decisions, where he scored the highest marks of the 2023 class.
The Pasadena native took his talents from the West Coast to the SEC and made an indelible mark on Alabama football. During Young's second season in 2021, he passed for 4,872 yards and 47 touchdowns and threw only seven interceptions. That productive year earned him the Heisman and the Manning Award, among other individual accolades.
Young's production declined in 2022, but he still managed to pass for 3,328 yards and 32 touchdowns.
His ability to scramble and play-making abilities with his arm has helped him stay in the conversation however, and since the Panthers gave up significant draft capital and a stud wideout in D.J. Moore to get to this spot, he's their man.
Check out our review for BetUS sports betting here.
CJ Stroud - Ohio State - Quarterback (+850)
It seems pretty clear that Young is the number one pick, but if there is a surprise on the cards nearer the time then it's Stroud who will benefit.
The odds are huge considering the fact that immediately after the trade between the Chicago Bears and Panthers took place, reports stated that it was Stroud who was Carolina's first choice and not Young.
We also know that new head coach Frank Reich has worked with quarterbacks that had prototypical size, like Philip Rivers (6-foot-5), Carson Wentz (6-foot-5), and Matt Ryan (6-foot-4). At 6-foot-3, Stroud fits this mold better than Young (5-foot-10).
It's certainly a long shot, but Stroud's numbers back up that he's more than capable as being the number one pick overall and we know Carolina like him. There's every chance they have another change of heart and go back to their original decision.
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Anthony Richardson - Florida - Quarterback (+1800)
Richardson has shown that he can lead and be the face of a franchise, and his numbers are excellent too.
He answered questions thoughtfully and showed a strong understanding of the game, visibly impressing coaches and scouts in the room in the past and has certainly raised the eyebrows of the decision makers.
Going into the combine, many analysts expected he would be a project or work-in-progress, but he showed up more as a final product than anyone expected. In short terms, he surprised people.
Overall, Richardson’s performance at the combine has solidified his status as one of the top quarterback prospects in this year’s draft. His combination of physical talent and intelligence could make him a valuable asset to any team.
However, the biggest issue he has is that he's just not as good as Young or Stroud and with both guys available before him, the likelihood of him being the number one pick slim to none.
Will Levis - Kentucky - Quarterback (+5000)
To be clear, it’s hard to see a scenario where Levis is the first quarterback taken as Young looks locked in at first overall, and both Stroud and Richardson are definitely better than him.
There are concerns about Levis however. He didn't ascend to starter status at Penn State and transferred to Kentucky. He didn't have a great final college season, with some pretty inaccurate passing throughout the season and the picks are a bit of a concern.
He was intercepted 13 times in 13 games for the Wildcats during the 2021 season after transferring from Penn State.
Levis was measured at 6-foot-4 and 229 pounds at the NFL combine with a 32-inch arm and 10.62-inch hand. He had a 34-inch vertical jump and his broad jump was 10 feet and four inches. He's incredibly athletic and fits the profile of what most coaches want their quarterback to look like.
A team that takes Levis will be figuring that he can have a Josh Allen career arc, turning his impressive physical talent into high-end NFL quarterback play.