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Carolina Panthers: Assessing Stroud, Young, Levis at Pro Days with Ryan Wilson of CBS; thoughts towards Eric Montross

The Adam Gold Show / Adam Gold
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March 27, 2023 5:04 pm

Carolina Panthers: Assessing Stroud, Young, Levis at Pro Days with Ryan Wilson of CBS; thoughts towards Eric Montross

The Adam Gold Show / Adam Gold

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March 27, 2023 5:04 pm

Ryan Wilson of CBS Sports provided a break down of CJ Stroud of Ohio State football, Bryce Young of Alabama football, and Will Levis of Kentucky football after each has their respective Pro Days last week. Wilson weighed in on who the Carolina Panthers like for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, and who he thinks the best QB will be in the class.

Plus, Steve Kirschner of UNC Athletics joined the show to discuss former UNC basketball star Eric Montross, who was diagnosed recently with cancer. 


I was not able to revel in the pro day tour, but I did live vicariously through the internet and Ryan Wilson, CBS One of the pick six podcast super friends joins us because Ryan was on the tour. So I'm sure that was a blast.

You need t-shirts with each stop on the back. So let's start in Tuscaloosa. Bryce Young didn't throw at the combine, but I know what happened. I know he threw and he threw impressively at Alabama's pro day. What's your takeaway from Bryce Young?

He is exactly who we thought he was in the fall, Adam. And yeah, he didn't get weighed in Tuscaloosa, probably because he doesn't weigh 204 pounds anymore. He didn't want to chug 10 gallons of water and get on the scales again. He didn't run at any point. I don't think CJ did.

I don't think Will Levist did. At this point, we don't care, apparently, whether he's running, whether these quarterbacks have run four or fives or not. And plenty athletic. And what you saw in person, again, confirm what you saw on Saturdays when you watched him play, but his arm is as good as CJ's and his ability to layer the ball to all three levels stuck out to me. And CJ does that really well also, but I think, again, Bryce is so incredibly tiny.

I do the With the First Pick podcast with Rick Spillman. Rick talked to Bryce after the workout on CBS Sports HQ, and both times Bryce came over and shook my hand and said, you know, thank you or whatever. I think he's been trained to be nice to everyone. And he is my size and he is my weight, and I am not an NFL quarterback material by any standard physically. And I think you have to be able to get over that, Adam, as an evaluator, as a GM who might have traded up to the number one overall pick to sell yourself on him physically.

But everything else, it checks the boxes. And I say it all the time, if he were 6'2", 220, we'd be talking about him like we talked about Trevor Lawrence. I actually think if he were 6'1", 195 pounds, then the Panthers, for A, the Panthers wouldn't have made the trade because the Bears would have kept the pick. They would have kept the pick if Bryce Young were three inches taller, I believe.

But I don't want to completely overlook the subtle flex you made by basically saying that you are in the shape of a 22-year-old kid. Ryan Wilson,, you said you were the same height and weight. I'm 5'10". 5'10", same weight.

It's got to be all tape though, doesn't it? How much of what we see in the Combine and these preconceived notions about what a quarterback is supposed to look like, how much of that will really make us ignore what we have seen on film from Bryce Young for two years, which is exactly the way the NFL needs its quarterbacks to play now. Big moments, out of the pocket, improvising, because I think that's what he does best. Yeah, and I think the NFL is coming around, and it's not just Bryce. Obviously, Russ Wilson was drafted in the third round back in 2012.

He comes out this year. He's a first-round pick. Baker was short. Lamar Jackson was short-ish by NFL standards. Kyler was 5'10", and change, and he's been okay at times.

Flash's greatness, and then all the other stuff, and dealing with Cliff Kingsbury and the Cardinals, that's another conversation. But I think there's a precedent. So it's not like Bryce Young is the first guy ever. Drew Brees was actually 6'1", when he came out in 2000, 2001, whatever that was.

So he's actually pretty tall by the guys we're talking about, standard-wise. But I think if Frank Reich and Jim Caldwell and Josh McCown and Thomas Brown are all in on Bryce, they're going to draft Bryce. Because as you point out, Adam, you can see how good he is, whether it was in the fall in Alabama on that SEC schedule. And we had Will Anderson tell us this at the combine when we spoke to him. He said, every single Saturday, Bryce Young lined up against SEC defensive tackle talent. And he took a ton of hits, and a lot of those guys are going to be in the NFL.

And he bounced up every single time. The shoulder injury was just a freak accident when he tried to stretch for a first down, I believe, near the sidelines. So I don't think the physical part is as big a deal as perhaps portraying it.

But again, I think we have 32 days until the draft, and we've got to talk about something. So we're going to talk about why he's so small and can still do all the amazing things that we've seen him do. All right, so how do you assess what you saw from CJ Stroud in Columbus?

Great workout. Again, and you have to temper it, and you sort of hinted at it, Adam. You were throwing against the air, you were wearing shorts, throwing to guys you know. And in CJ Stroud's case, he was throwing to Jackson Smith and Jigba, who looked great. And some guy named Marvin Harrison Jr., who was out there just catching passes for fun. And when I tell you that people were visibly gasping at some of the things that Marvin Harrison Jr. was doing, I'm not exaggerating. He is going to be special. And it was good to see his dad there, Marvin Harrison, who looked like a middle-aged man.

You never would have known he was a Hall of Famer, especially standing next to his son. But CJ looked really good. And again, he does a lot of the things that Bryce does pro-day wise. He's got a good arm. He layers the throws really well. He moves well laterally. We saw glimpses of that in that Georgia game at the end of what ended up being the end of his college career.

And he throws well off platform. And Dennis mentioned this to me coming in, and it's the same thought I had. And it sounds like you think that CJ is just a guy on some level, and I thought the exact same thing during the fall. And I talked to CJ at the Super Bowl. We talked to him at the Combine. And the more you talk to him, the more you get a glimpse at this dude, he's serious. He's serious about being a leader.

He's serious about this job. And he has people that follow him in that locker room. And I think that we perhaps understole him because he was thrown into a bunch of first-round picks.

I don't know. I mean, you can't fix that. You can't make him throw to guys who are terrible.

But he had a lot of success doing that. So I think that's the reason, given the fact that he's 6'3 and 215 or 220, whatever he is, that makes it a little easier pickle to swallow if you're trying to sell to the fan base. This is our future franchise quarterback. Ryan Wilson, with the First Pick podcast as well. Kind of a part of the Pick 6 podcast family.

I have no idea how it's umbrellaed. I do think he's a good prospect, CJ Stroud. From what I have seen, and I have never seen him in person, and I obviously didn't watch the pro day, but when I've seen him play, I see a guy who's, I think, a good quarterback. But I think Bryce Young, if he were taller, then we would be talking about him the way we talked about Trevor Lawrence coming out.

He's only height away from being that guy because of everything, the poise with which he plays. And just to get back to CJ Stroud, if he were close to Young's ability, this would be a no-brainer though, wouldn't it? Yeah. No, you're exactly right.

That's all exactly right. And the other thing that we forget this time of year, because it's convenient, but these first-run quarterbacks, I think the hit rate's about 25% that you're going to get a guy that you can rely on. And that means three out of four of these guys are not going to work out.

So, you know, you do the math. I mean, four guys that probably go top 10, maybe top 15 after another pro day workout last week. And, you know, one of those guys is going to work, and if you had to put money down, it feels like Bryce would be the safe bet. I think CJ is a good football player when you're projecting to the next level. He's a really good football player at Ohio State, but he doesn't have all the intangibles that Bryce has, and that's no disrespect to CJ because, like I said, he is a really good football player. But Bryce takes it to another level, and Rick Spielman, my co-host, says this a lot.

He's been saying this since the fall, and it's sort of weird, but when you think about it, it makes sense. He compares Bryce to Steph Curry in terms of things he's able to do. Steph Curry doesn't walk out there looking like LeBron or Michael Jordan physically, but we know what Steph Curry can do. And in terms of quarterback slash point guard running an offense, that's what Bryce brings, and it's a different level from the other quarterbacks in this class. I don't want to completely ignore the fact that Will Levis also had a pro day.

What were your thoughts? I can't imagine the Panthers have traded up to number one to get Will Levis, but what did you see from Will? He can throw the football through a wall. I mean, his arm pops, and the ball whistles when he's throwing, and he's putting a little juice on it. He didn't layer it quite as well to all three levels. The touch passes weren't quite as crisp as CJ's and Bryce's.

And again, it's a pro day. He used to run the guys that were freshmen last season, and those guys struggled. He wasn't throwing to Marvin Harrison Jr. He wasn't throwing to Jackie Smith and Jigba. And something that Spielman noted to me, and I saw it once he mentioned it, when Will Levis rolls to his left, he struggles to throw the ball down the field with accuracy. He can still whip it in there, but the accuracy wasn't going left, and he was extremely rocked up from the waist up. He looked like Luke Kuechly waist up. And that's a problem when you're trying to, you know, we talk about Tom Brady and his pliability, we joke about it, but you don't want to be muscle-bound and trying to make throws and the flexibility is lost.

And that sort of showed up as well. I do wonder what would have happened if Will Levis's pro day had been first, and then we'd seen CJ and Bryce, if that would have changed our perspective just because we're human. But I thought it was a good pro day, but it didn't change my mind, and it just sort of confirmed to me that I don't think you can take him first overall and feel great about your prospects compared to CJ or Bryce.

Yeah, I think it'll be interesting to see what Anthony Richardson looks like at his pro day. Final thing for you, and I'm going to ask you to answer for you and for Rick. Who do you have as the number one quarterback on your board? I think I saw this in your latest mock draft anyway. And who does Rick think is the best quarterback? Yeah, Rick and I have an agreement on this. Bryce has won, CJ has won A, and then for me, it's Anthony Richardson, and then Will Levis.

We'll see. We'll be the Anthony Richardson pro day on Thursday, so we'll see him up close and personal as well. And I'm not sure where Rick is on Levis and Richardson. I think he likes Levis a little better just because there's less volatility of what he might look like with a little more experience, obviously. But for me, it's Bryce. It hasn't changed since the fall. It's Bryce and CJ and then Richardson and then Levis.

Ryan Wilson, You're the man. I appreciate your time. I thank you so much, and I will check in again, I don't know, down the road soon, hopefully. I'll talk to you later.

Yeah, absolutely. Thank you, Adam. You got it. Ryan Wilson. Dynamite.

So, I keep getting back to this. You put three inches of height on Bryce Young. Oh, yeah. A, the Bears don't trade the pick. Yeah.

And B, the contract's already signed. Yeah. The only reason we're having this debate is because he's 5'10", and he's probably 185 pounds. Yeah. That's why we're having the debate.

There's no debate if we're talking about the ability to play the position. My email made me, I guess, depressed is not necessarily the right word. Concerned is a better word.

This weekend, when I saw the release from the University of North Carolina that Eric Montross, a legend at UNC, former NBA player, and now a mainstay on the Tar Heels Sports Network, was diagnosed with cancer. And the family is going to be very private. Eric's a very private person. And they basically have asked for positive vibes, and all that I have are going his way. Steve Kirschner, who is, I mean, maybe the best spokesperson we have at any university or any industry here, is joining us from Chapel Hill to talk about what I'm sure I think I'm confident in saying, your friend, Eric Montross. Because I think that there might not be a nicer human being walking the face of the earth.

And there's a lot of competition for that, including your head basketball coach. So I just leave the floor open for you, Steve, to just talk about Eric. And I know how private he is about this. He's not going to talk about his condition or anything like that. They're going to keep this within the family.

So how do you think, how's Eric doing right now? You know, it's, you're right, he is a very private person, but he's in a very public job in a very public environment. So his thoughts and his wife, Laura's thoughts, and there's kids, Sarah and Andrew, they felt that they found out the diagnosis last week, and they were about, they were starting to tell a few people in a very small circle towards the end of the week, Thursday and Friday. And just understood that as public a figure, as Eric has been for a long time, as a former, you know, North Carolina, great North Carolina player and spending so many years, you know, 15, I think it's more than 15 years as our color analyst on the radio network and has done national radio. It just, you know, they didn't want speculation and rumors and gossip and they wanted to meet it head on. And particularly they've been running a Father's Day camp to raise money for pediatric cancer at UNC hospitals and felt that, you know, as public as they have been taking on cancer, they just felt like they really needed to at least address it. You know, they, they're not going to get into what type of cancer and what the prognosis and what are all the details of the treatments, other than to say that the treatments are starting at UNC line burger, which is one of the best places in the world to receive treatment for cancer. And they also, they believe in positivity, they believe in, and people sort of envisioning, you know, good outcomes and being part of that, you know, prayer group and support group and they believe that community battles cancer and Eric's in that community. And there are a lot of people.

I mean, the, you know, the number of people that that viewed the tweet that came out of the basketball account was over 1 million people by within less than 24 hours. And I think it was just you said it. He's one of the nicest people. I mean, there's a very short list of the nicest people you've ever met. And Eric Montrose is not only on my list, but he's on most people's list.

And I agree Hubert's on that list and others. You know, I've been very fortunate to be here a few years and, and of the players that not only have I enjoyed being around as a player and a former player, but that others tell me that they enjoy being around. Eric and Laura and their family, you know, all sit that bill very well. Eric just has the ability and we're talking with Steve Kirshner from North Carolina. Eric has the ability just to make you feel like you matter.

And it's not, I don't think that's common. Like, not that I like you, I respect you, but he has the ability to make you feel like you matter. And that's just a rare gift to me. Every now and then when we're on the road with the Carolina basketball team, I may be downstairs at breakfast or someplace near the hotel and Eric will pop in and he'll ask if it's okay if he joins me. Yes, of course.

Yeah. And to watch how he treats the people, whether it's other customers, the people that work at the restaurant, the people behind the checkout line, whatever the way he treats them and introduces himself, if they're kind of looking at him. I mean, you know, it's kind of hard to go through cancer treatments, you know, with a hat and sunglasses too, because you're seven feet tall and you're Eric Montross in Chapel Hill and meeting things head on has always been the way he is. And he just, he addresses people straight up and introduces himself and makes them feel like he wants them to be part of his world on any given day.

In any situation. And, you know, one story I want to tell real quick is back in 1994, his senior year, he called me late in the year. This was before I had a cell phone. He had when he just called me in my apartment one night and said, I need your help telling a story. And I said, what, what story? Well, I've met a young man, a teenager up at UNC Children's Hospital named Jason Clark and Jason had cancer and Eric had gone up as a lot of our student athletes do and made hospital visits and Eric struck up a friendship with Jason. And he said, you know, people treat me like I'm a, I'm some big guy, you know, big star because I play basketball and we won a national championship last year and whatever. He goes, I'm not a hero.

This kid is a hero for the way he's dealing with his lot in life, his cancer diagnosis. And I want to tell that story. And Eric had had played kind of poorly the game before and had written Jason's initials on his shoes and we met with the media after the game and after we got done talking about the X's and O's and Eric just sort of addressed that. This was right after he wrote this program story. So he wrote the story we put in the program and he kind of explained to people why he was so interested in the program.

He kind of explained to people why he was sort of, he kind of checked out, he didn't play well and just wanted people to understand there were bigger things in life than basketball. And this young man and the way he was dealing with his diagnosis and prognosis was that Jason was a hero to Eric. And Jason unfortunately passed away later that season and for the next, whatever, since 1994, since Eric's been in the NBA, they run this Father's Day camp at UNC. And the proceeds go to building a children's play area at the cancer center so that when these kids go and get treatment that it's not just, it's not a negative.

They have an opportunity to have fun and enjoy themselves and do things that every other young person who isn't dealing with cancer has the opportunity to do. And that's something that Eric did as a senior in college, that he had the wherewithal and the foresight to deal with that. And now here we are 30 years later and Eric and his family are dealing with something as well. Yeah, that type of character, that doesn't just show up at the end.

That's there all along. We have to let you go, Steve. I appreciate your time. I hope Eric comes back and I've already reached out. As much positivity as I can send his way, we are doing that. I thank you for your time.

I'm sure you'll speak or see him before I will tell him I said hello and I'll talk to you very soon. Appreciate all the good thoughts. Thank you. You got it. Steve Kirschner from the University of North Carolina. Again, I can't stress enough just how good a human being Eric Montross is.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-01 21:46:29 / 2023-04-01 21:55:13 / 9

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