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Top QB prospects discuss 2023 NFL Draft's uncertainty day before Round 1 begins

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – If Bryce Young is destined to be the first pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, he's not tipping his hand. Neither are Will Levis nor C.J. Stroud, for that matter.

Thursday's Round 1 figures to be a wild ride as Young, Levis, Stroud and Florida's Anthony Richardson all could be top-10 picks. Young, Levis and Stroud discussed the uncertainty surrounding the draft, and Young -- whom many believe will be the No. 1 overall selection when the draft begins at 8 p.m. ET Thursday -- said Wednesday he did not know if the Carolina Panthers will select him.

"Nothing -- I don't know anything," the Alabama quarterback said at the NFL Play Football clinic at a local high school. "I don't think or expect anything. I'm kind of just along for the ride. And, you know, I feel like whatever happens, wherever I end up, you know, I think that that's where God wants me to be."

Panthers head coach Frank Reich told reporters on Wednesday that he has not informed any player that he will be the No. 1 pick.

Young is taking a zen-like approach to the final day before he's learns his future NFL home.

"I don't know anything," Young said. "I don't have confidence in anything. And I think there's a lot of peace for me that comes with that."

Although Young is considered the favorite to be a Panther, Levis' name has been buzzing as a possible high selection the past few weeks.

Then again, some of that might have been spurred by a recent anonymous Reddit post that said Levis had told friends he would be the Panthers' first pick. Levis didn't completely shoot that rumor down when talking to reporters on Wednesday, but he did have some fun with the late draft chatter flying around -- and from where it has come.

"Yeah, I mean, I can say something right now to get the people going a little bit," Levis said with a sly smile, "but I think I'm gonna refrain from that. But I mean, everyone knows everything you read on Reddit is true. So take it for what you will, but I mean, it's just funny."

In fact, Levis said that one of the talking points among the quarterbacks who attended Wednesday's youth football clinic was all of the wild speculation they've have heard about themselves in the run-up to the draft.

"I'm talking to some of these dudes about the different rumors and stuff that (are) just absolutely not true, that have been conjured up throughout this process about everyone on this field right now," Levis said. "It's crazy. It's crazy. You know, you realize you just can't pay attention to that stuff and you have to, you know, focus on yourself."

Is Levis really in play with the Panthers? Could he go to the Texans at No. 2? Perhaps the Colts at No. 4? Like Young, Levis said he really has no clue how it will all play out Thursday night.

"I really, truly have no idea," he said on Wednesday. "Your guess is as good as mine."

Even so, Levis said he's at peace with where he is 24 hours ahead of one of the biggest days of his football life to this point.

"It's just excitement right now, and honestly, I feel relaxed," he said. "I feel like after all these top-30 visits were over, I was able to kind of just take a deep breath and just enjoy these moments fully with my family and everything. (I'm) just blessed to be in this position and excited to hopefully hear my name called."

Stroud also is left to guess how Round 1 might play out. His performance on the S2 Cognition test, which NFL teams use to assess athletes' ability to process information, has drawn attention in recent days. Stroud took the test multiple times and posted low scores, per NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero.

The Ohio State quarterback said Wednesday that he has intentionally been off social media recently, preferring not to hear the wild flurry of draft rumors.

"I honestly have no idea, and I mean, I'll just (keep staying) off social media as much as possible," Stroud said. "I'll just lean on my people. My family is here in town now, so really I'll just spend time with that. That's how I'll get away from (the noise)."

The good news is that the draft noise is almost over, and with that will come some relief for some of the quarterbacks.

"I don't turn away if the TV's on, but I don't really seek anything out," Young said. "I've heard what I've heard, but I know it can't all be true.

"And for me in the end, I'm very big on controlling what I can't control. Focus on that. There's a lot of opinions, a lot of stuff going on. I think that's the beauty of sports. ... But for me, wherever it is, whatever happens tomorrow, I know wherever I end up at, it is a blessing. It is where I'm supposed to be."

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