Charlotte. NC (AP) — Carolina Panthers coach Frank Reich said he and general manager Scott Vetterer have agreed which quarterback the team will select with the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft.
But Reich says the team won’t announce who it is until Thursday night, when the draft begins.
The Panthers are selecting Alabama’s Bryce Young, Ohio State’s CJ Stroud, Kentucky’s Will Levis and Florida’s Anthony Richardson in an effort to upgrade the quarterback position that has been in transition for the past five seasons.
Vetterer said last week that he had waited to ask Reich who he preferred first so that nothing would affect the decision-maker’s judgment. But on Monday, Vetterer finally walked into Reich’s office and popped the question of who he preferred — and both agreed on the same QB.
“It was kind of like a proposal — and I said yes,” Reich joked Tuesday. “But there is a consensus and we are excited.”
Young remains the favorite to be the first Panthers QB to be named No. 1 overall since Cam Newton in 2011, According to FanDuel Sportsbookalthough Levis got ahead of Stroud.
This is a very important pick for Carolina, who hasn’t made the playoffs since 2017 largely due to the QB inconsistency.
Reich praised Vetterer and the scouts for keeping an open mind during the entire process.
“We all go into it with ideas and inclinations, but there are ebbs and flows during the process,” said Reich. “Is there any change of mind? I wouldn’t say there is any drastic change of mind, but there is an ebb and flow of how much you like a guy. That’s why you should resist the temptation to get your mind sober too soon.”
“The coaches and scouting staff did a good job of not falling into that trap and taking it for what it is, take it day in and day out, watch the tape and go through the process.”
Reich said that the team’s coaching staff’s convictions about who should be “built gradually” over time.
With the top pick decided, Reich said the team is now focusing its attention on its other five picks in the first five rounds of the draft, including the 39th overall pick.
“We wrap our minds around Choice 39 and Choice 93 around all scenarios — (trading) up, (trading) or staying there,” Reich said. “What if (that guy) is there; what if he isn’t. Hey, tell us how this guy fits into the scheme. It’s been a dynamic discussion and I think we’re ready for those scenarios.” ___
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