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

The Carolina Panthers hold the first overall selection in the 2023 NFL Draft and need a quarterback. Did assistant coach Josh McCown mess up his pick?

The Carolina Panthers let the entire league know 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 several high draft picks and wide receiver DJ Moore to acquire the selection, now they have to decide which perspective to take.

On Wednesday, the Panthers attended Pro Day at Ohio State, where quarterback CJ Stroud was pitching for interested teams. Carolina head coach Frank Reich and quarterback coach Josh McCown were front row to watch Stroud’s drill. Subsequently, several members of the Panthers organization met with Stroud.

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

Did Josh McCown spoil the Panthers’ first pick?

While some thought that was what McCown was saying, when you listen closely it sounds like he’s saying “maybe when You are there Charlotte, we’ll find a court.

Considering there’s still over a month to go until the first round of the NFL Draft, don’t dwell too much on that. It’s likely that Stroud will be brought to Charlotte for a pre-draft visit as they begin to make their decision on which quarterback to choose.

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 heads to Tuscaloosa, AL to watch Bryce Young’s pro day on March 23. In fact, they’re having dinner with Young on Wednesday night, according to MMQB’s Albert Breer.

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


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