Following the Carolina Panthers’ decision to trade for the No. 1 overall pick in next month’s draft, betting markets have a new quarterback as the betting odds favorite. According to Pro Football Talk, multiple sports books now have Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud at -300 with Alabama’s Bryce Young at +300 and Florida’s Anthony Richardson at +450.
Of course, it’s not that simple, and the betting markets don’t always get it right. Take it from someone who knows best. One notable insider, NBC Sports’ Peter King, penned in his Football Morning in America column on Monday that he doesn’t think the Panthers have decided which quarterback they want just yet.
They’ll likely decide over the next month between Stroud, Young and Richardson, while Kentucky’s Will Levis is a name that has been notably left out of the top-pick discussion. King has heard the rumors that Panthers head coach Frank Reich loves Richardson, but he’s a bit skeptical:
Nothing against Richardson, who is one of the most interesting QB prospects in the past few drafts. I wonder, though, about trading two first-round picks, two second-round picks and one of your five best players for a player with a high ceiling but with one year as a college starter. Trading to number one and choosing Richardson might turn out to be brilliant. But picking Richardson number one after dealing five prime pieces for him is a major risk.
If Richardson is Carolina’s choice to be the organization’s next quarterback, King states that he expects a minor trade down with the Houston Texans. That would allow Carolina to recoup some of the assets it traded away to move up eight spots. In exchange for the No. 1 overall pick, the Panthers traded the ninth and 61st overall picks this year, a first-round pick in 2024, a second-round pick in 2025, and wide receiver D.J. Moore.
Young, who was the betting odds favorite to be the No. 1 overall pick last week—before Carolina made the trade—could also be a logical choice. King mentions that Reich has never coached a short quarterback, but also noted that Young being 5-foot-10 likely holds little weight in Carolina’s decision-making.
That leaves Stroud. Here’s what King had to say about Stroud’s chances of being the No. 1 overall pick:
Does Young’s size mean 6-3 C.J. Stroud has the best chance to be the pick? Two veteran front-office people I spoke with Saturday think Stroud makes the most sense, but those two men are not making this call. Stroud did play the single-most impressive game of any of the four first-round prospects (including Kentucky’s Will Levis) this year—putting up 41 points on Georgia in the college playoffs, throwing for 348 yards with four TDs and no interceptions—so that counts for something.
We’ll have to see ultimately what Carolina decides, but the smoke around Stroud and possibly Richardson is hard to ignore at the moment.