Coach Frank Reich made it through about 30 minutes of questioning at the NFL owners meetings in Phoenix on Tuesday without tipping which quarterback the Carolina Panthers will select with the top pick of the draft.
But he offered nuggets inside the evaluation process that revealed more about what he and general manager Scott Fitterer will do when they sit down in about two weeks and nail down their choice between Alabama’s Bryce Young and Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud.
Kentucky’s Will Levis and Florida’s Anthony Richardson still are being evaluated, so they’re still technically in the running. Reich even said there are moments on Richardson’s film that “scream top pick.’’
But according to sources with knowledge of the search, the Panthers' choice is between Stroud and Young.
The biggest difference between the two is size, which took up a considerable amount of Reich’s time at Tuesday's annual media breakfast.
Young is 5-foot-10 and 204 pounds. Stroud is 6-3, 214.
Reich made it clearer than he has at any point during the process that this is more about durability than height, and that durability is a concern with Young due to his stature, though he missed only one game at Alabama.
“Absolutely [durability] is a consideration,’’ Reich said. “Also a consideration [is] his playmaking ability, his accuracy and his leadership, his instincts.’’