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Stroud Becomes Heavy Favorite to Be 1st Pick in 2023 NFL Draft After Panthers Move Up

Michael Harrison

by Michael Harrison in NFL Football

Updated Mar 10, 2023 · 7:43 PM PST

Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback C.J. Stroud throws a pass
Dec 31, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) throws a pass during the second half of the Peach Bowl in the College Football Playoff semifinal at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Ohio State lost 42-41. Mandatory Credit: Adam Cairns-The Columbus Dispatch Ncaa Football Peach Bowl Ohio State At Georgia
  • The Carolina Panthers have traded for the first overall pick in the 2023 draft
  • After swinging the blockbuster with the Bears, which player is the odds-on favorite to be selected?
  • See the odds movement for quarterbacks like C.J. Stroud and Bryce Young for the upcoming draft

A month before April 27th’s NFL draft, the Chicago Bears and Carolina Panthers have swung a massive trade that lands Carolina the first overall selection. In return, Chicago gets a haul of draft picks along with wide receiver D.J. Moore. With the deal set to be consummated once the new league year begins March 15th, the NFL Draft odds have changed significantly.

It is presumed Carolina will take a signal caller with the first pick, as they had a revolving door of players at the most pivotal position last season. Who might they target, and how did the odds change now a QB is almost certainly going to go #1 in the draft?

Odds For 2023 First Overall NFL Draft Pick

Player Odds
C.J. Stroud -425
Bryce Young +320
Anthony Richardson +450
Will Levis +3500
Will Anderson +10000

C.J. Stroud, a prototypical pocket passer that played two years with the Ohio State Buckeyes, is -425 to be plucked first. The next closest players are Alabama’s Bryce Young (+320) and Florida’s Anthony Richardson (+450). Odds as of March 10th at DraftKings Sportsbook.

As of three days ago, Young was the odds-on favorite to go first at -118, and Stroud was +325. With new Head Coach Frank Reich calling the shots in his first year in Carolina, oddsmakers think he’s honing in on Stroud.


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Stroud Becomes Favorite To Go First

Carolina is poised to select a quarterback first overall for the first time since they nabbed Cam Newton in 2011. They previously held the ninth overall pick, which didn’t guarantee they’d be able to land their preference between the presumptive top four of Stroud, Young, Anthony Richardson and Will Levis. With their massive deal Friday, that’s no longer the case.

Stroud (6′ 3″, 215 lbs) is a great scheme fit with the Panthers, and doesn’t have any of the questions about size or weight that Young does. The Alabama pivot is 5′ 10″ and weighed in at 204 lbs, and opted not to work out at the NFL combine.

The only other player with short odds is Anthony Richardson, who was a whopping +8000 on January 10th to be picked first. Though he didn’t play a ton in college, his athleticism and tools have made scouts drool. Scuttlebutt has it that he’d be better off sitting on the bench for a year, but with his raw talent, the Panthers might not be able to resist.

Best Place To Wager On Draft

Depending on which way you feel the draft may shake out, you can shop around and find differing odds on who will be off the board first. If you’re convinced Carolina will go all-in with Stroud, FanDuel at -320 offers up a little bit more value. If you’re inclined to think that Young is still the main man, then DraftKings at +320 is the way to go.

The other longshot possibility is that Carolina will now flip the first overall spot to another team to recoup some of the draft capital surrendered to consummate the deal (two seconds, a future first rounder and a first-round swap this year, along with WR D.J. Moore). That has to be considered unlikely, however, given how much they gave up to leapfrog everyone.

The Best Bet

Despite Bryce Young being considered the most pro-ready, Stroud had what scouts deemed ‘one of the best throwing sessions’ at the combine last week. With the money quickly shifting towards the former Ohio State signal caller, where there’s smoke, there’s definitely fire.

Pick: C.J. Stroud To Be Picked First Overall (-320 at FanDuel)


Make sure to take advantage of the latest FanDuel Promo Code to get 10X your bet on Stroud going first overall to the Panthers. 

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