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Panthers don’t overthink it, select Bryce Young, QB, Alabama at No. 1

There’s a new quarterback in the Carolinas

NFL Combine Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

With the first overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Carolina Panthers have selected Alabama quarterback Bryce Young.

Young coalesced as the consensus number one pick only a few weeks ago, but that consensus has since become deafening. He is considered to be the best passer, greatest improviser, and biggest leader of this draft class. Clearly, the new decision makers at Bank of America Stadium agree with those opinions.

In his college career, Young went 23-4 as a two-year starter and completed 624 of his 949 pass attempts for 8,356 yards, 80 touchdowns, and only 12 interceptions. He also ran for 162 yards and seven touchdowns on 139 attempts. Keep in mind that college football still counts sacks against a player’s rushing totals. He also won the 2021 Heisman trophy as College Football’s best player that season.

The most consistent knock against Young is his stature. At 6’0” and 194 lbs he is small for an NFL quarterback. He’s the same height as and 13 lbs lighter than Drew Brees, a name that Panthers fans should expect to hear a lot by way of lazy comparisons through at least Young’s rookie year.

His stature is certainly something to keep an eye on, but I won’t be freaking out about it just yet. This draft pick was made by the most quarterback-centric brain trust the Carolina Panthers have ever assembled. They were aware of Young’s height and weight and still chose him.

Young is expected to have one of the highest floors and highest ceilings in this draft class. That’s hugely important for a team that needs their quarterback to step in and elevate their offense. The Panthers have made a lot of moves to add skill position players, but they didn’t exactly replace the talents of Christian McCaffrey or D.J. Moore. Young is the guy that head coach Frank Reich has tapped to lead his offense and Young is the guy that Reich believes can elevate the Panthers to the next (or any) level.

The Panthers top remaining draft needs:

Edge, LB, CB, WR, DL

The Panthers picks in the 2023 NFL Draft:

  • Round 1 (1) Bryce Young
  • Round 2 (39)
  • Round 3 (93)
  • Round 4 (114)
  • Round 4 (132)
  • Round 5 (145)