The Carolina Panthers have selected quarterback Bryce Young out of Alabama with the first overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported the news that everybody was expecting just as draft coverage began.
After a wildly successful college career, winning the Heisman Trophy in his first year as a starter, the Panthers have now tabbed Young to be the future of the franchise with new head coach Frank Reich at the helm. Carolina traded up with the Chicago Bears from No. 9 to the top pick in order to take Young.
Here is everything you need to know about Bryce Young.
Bryce Young's Pre-College Football Career
Bryce Young went to high school football at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, California, for his last two years of high school football. He played his first two years at Cathedral High School in Los Angeles. As a member of the 2020 recruiting class, depending on the service you looked at, he was either the No. 1 or No. 2 recruit. Bryan Bresee, a defensive tackle who is in this year's draft as well, was rated higher than Young according to 247Sports Composite. Young was the top rated quarterback in the class and elected to join the Alabama football program for his college career.
Bryce Young's College Football Career
Bryce Young started his college career in the 2020 season, but did not get much playing time. The Alabama football program won the national championship in 2020 with Mac Jones as the starting quarterback. Young took over that role for the 2021 season with much anticipation, being the top quarterback recruit in his class. In his first year as the starter for the Alabama football program, Young won the Heisman Trophy and threw for 4,872 yards and 47 touchdowns, completing 66.9% of his passes in 15 games. Alabama lost in the National Championship Game to Georgia.
Alabama missed the College Football Playoff in the 2022 season, and Young had a bit of a drop off statistically. He threw for 3,328 yards and 32 touchdowns in 12 games. However, Young did lose some key receivers from the 2021 season in Jameson Williams and John Metchie III. Despite the drop-off in production, Young remained one of the top quarterback prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft once he declared. Now, Young's dream has come true and he is the franchise quarterback of the Panthers. Time will tell if the decision works in Carolina's favor.
Bryce Young's NFL Draft Fit With Panthers
It has been expected that Bryce Young would be a high draft pick since he was in high school, and now that day has finally come. The Panthers are betting on him to become a franchise quarterback for the foreseeable future after trading a haul for the No. 1 pick, with a new head coach in Frank Reich to work with him. Young has many strengths that teams would see as desirable. The one talking point against Young is his size, as he is just 5-foot-10. However, it does not seem that Carolina has concerns regarding that.
Young's size has drawn comparisons to Drew Brees and Russell Wilson. Whether or not those comparisons end up being accurate remains to be seen. Young showed the ability to improve and make plays off script in college. Often times, that is a separator between good and great quarterbacks in the NFL. That is something that any team can use, regardless of scheme.
Reich and the Panthers will build an offense around Young that is suited to his strengths. It will be interesting to see the weapons that Carolina is able to add around Young in the next few years to try to make sure he succeeds. While star wide receiver DJ Moore went to the Bears as part of the No. 1 pick trade, the Panthers signed Adam Thielen and DJ Chark in free agency to bolster the receiving corps. They also added Miles Sanders at running back to pair with Chuba Hubbard.