NFL Draft odds: C.J. Stroud favored as No. 1 pick after Panthers trade


For the first time in over a decade, the Carolina Panthers own the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft after trading with the Bears for the right to select the next face of their franchise.

And if the betting market is any indication, C.J. Stroud is their guy.

The former Buckeyes star is the overwhelming favorite (-320) to be the first overall pick in next month’s NFL Draft, according to the latest odds at FanDuel.

The move comes just an hour after the Panthers traded away star receiver D.J. Moore and multiple firsts – including the No. 9 pick in this year’s draft – to vault themselves into position for a franchise quarterback.

Alabama quarterback Bryce Young (+300), who was the favorite to go first overall until Friday’s blockbuster, joins Florida’s Anthony Richardson (+350) as the only other players with shorter than 20/1 odds to be the top pick at FanDuel.

Stroud was dealing at +350 to be the first overall pick as recently as Friday morning, when the Bears were still auctioning off the top pick to the highest bidder.

That ended up being the Panthers, who last spent the No. 1 pick on former MVP winner Cam Newton in 2011.

CJ Stroud works out at the NFL Combine on March 4.

Carolina has long been a rumored destination for Stroud, who was seen as a potential No. 1 pick for much of the 2022 season before faltering late in the year.

That opened the door for Young – a former Heisman Trophy winner – to establish himself as the QB1 on most boards in the months leading up to April’s draft.

Then Stroud wowed scouts with a prolific passing display at the combine, which had some draftniks moving him up their board and loosened Young’s grip atop the oddsboard.

The Panthers have also been lavish in their praise for Stroud, with quarterbacks coach Josh McCown comparing him to Joe Burrow even before his stellar showing at the combine.

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While Carolina’s future could be bright with the right guy under center, the team’s outlook for 2023 is a lot less rosy after dealing its best offensive player and a bushel of picks.

The Panthers are currently +5500 to win the Super Bowl and +270 to win the NFC South, per FanDuel.

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