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Panthers head coach Frank Reich: 'There is consensus' on No. 1 overall pick

The Carolina Panthers have a consensus regarding who they'll make the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, but head coach Frank Reich isn't ready to let the cat out of the bag just yet.

"We'll announce that Thursday at about 8 o'clock," Reich told reporters Tuesday.

Last week, general manager Scott Fitterer indicated a final decision hadn't been made on the top choice. But the coach and GM met Monday, solidifying the decision.

"He came into my office yesterday at some point, and asked the question," Reich said. "It was kind of like a proposal of sorts. And I said yes (laughs). There is consensus, and we're excited."

The league-wide expectation is Alabama's Bryce Young will be the Panthers' pick with the top selection, but Carolina did meet with all the top quarterback options during the draft process.

"There was ebbs and flows during the process. Reich said. "... I don't want to say there's any drastic change of mind, but there's ebbs and flows of how much you like a guy. And that's why you have to resist the temptation of making your mind up too early, right? So I thought we as a scouting staff and coaches did a good job of not falling into that trap. Just take it for what it is. Take it day by day. Go on these visits, watch tape. Go through the process. Continue to evaluate and talk it through."

Reich said the choice became clear as the scouts caught the coaching staff up on the quarterback prospects following Carolina's trade from No. 9 to No. 1 last month.

"I think we all had inclinations early on," Reich said. "Again, not to totally repeat everything I just said, I just think the conviction built gradually. The conviction built gradually for us as coaches because scouts were ahead of us. The scouts were ahead of us -- they had already done all their work. So as we dug in, our conviction started to build slowly but surely."

The result of that conviction will be shared with the world at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday live from Kansas City, Mo.

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