While many football fans out there are counting down the days for Week 1 of the regular season to arrive, don’t forget that the NFL Draft is also right around the corner. On April 27, the first round will take place, and people can’t wait to see who the Carolina Panthers will take with the top selection. As things stand, C.J. Stroud is favored to be the NFL Draft’s No. 1 overall pick. Will the Ohio State standout be Carolina-bound?
Stroud is on top of the world right now. Not only did he put on a show at the NFL Combine, but he was also fantastic at the Ohio State Pro Day. Stroud has seen his stock rise quite a bit over the past month or so. Before, a lot of people assumed that former Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young would be the top pick, but the belief is that Stroud will be the one to hear his name called first.
The Panthers, they’re in desperate need of a franchise quarterback. Last season, guys like Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold started games for them. While they’re capable signal-callers, they don’t have the kind of talent that can help this team go on a deep postseason run. Someone like Stroud or Young most definitely could. It’s been a busy offseason for Carolina, but more work is on the way.
According to the best-rated sportsbooks, which includes the reliable Bovada review, Stroud holds -300 NFL betting odds to be the No. 1 overall pick in late April. Stroud has the tools to be a tremendous quarterback at the next level. From our chair, we think it’d be a shock if he didn’t get taken No. 1 overall. Stroud is our pick, in this case, to be the QB1 for the Panthers for the long haul.
Bryce Young should go No. 2 overall to the Houston Texans
Another team in need of a starting quarterback is the Houston Texans. This past season, the QB play for the AFC South side was sometimes tough to watch. Fans were incredibly frustrated with the offense, as there were multiple games where they had an unreal time trying to move the ball. That simply can’t be the case moving forward. The good news is that Bryce Young should go No. 2 overall to the Houston Texans.
It’s pretty much a domino effect here. If Stroud goes No. 1 overall, which many experts and analysts are expecting, then it feels like almost a lock that Houston would waste no time in sending in Young’s name for their selection. However, it’s also important to remember that Anthony Richardson could also end up going No. 2 overall. Richardson is one of the best QB prospects out there.
Other than Stroud, arguably no other player who has improved his stock more than Robinson. He dazzled at the Combine. Then at his Florida Pro Day, Richardson was throwing the ball all over the field. His strong showcases included him posting a 74-yard pass. With his dual-threat abilities, it could lead to the Texans going with him over Young at No. 2 overall. People have mentioned Will Levis as an option, but he should fall into the late first round.
Per the oddsmakers, Young holds -330 Las Vegas betting odds to get taken No. 2 overall. Richardson has been placed with +350 odds to go to Houston. This really does feel like a toss-up here, as both quarterbacks have bright futures ahead of them. At the end of the day, Houston could look to go with the Alabama standout when they’re on the clock. We’re going with Young as our pick for No. 2 overall.
The Cardinals will likely take Will Anderson Jr. at No. 3 overall
Rounding out the first few picks, the Cardinals will likely take Will Anderson Jr. at No. 3 overall during the draft. If Richardson is still on the board, you’d think that he’d be the favorite to be taken after Young at No. 2. However, Arizona doesn’t need a starting quarterback. They’re set with Kyler Murray as their offensive leader. Murray is hoping to have a bounce-back year after tearing his ACL in 2022.
With the Cardinals focusing elsewhere for their early pick, Anderson makes a ton of sense for them. Anderson is easily the top pass-rusher coming out of this draft class. His fantastic ability to get past would-be blockers and put pressure on the quarterback is unmatched. He’s a special player – Arizona fans are hoping they go with him.
Again, if a different team was on the clock at No. 3 overall, then it would make sense for Richardson to get selected. However, the Cardinals are focusing on defense with their first-round pick, and Anderson will likely be the guy to start making plays for them in 2023. Anderson is easily our pick for the Cardinals at No. 3 overall. It’d be a surprise if they went with someone else.