3 reasons Carolina Panthers could be leaning toward Bryce Young at No. 1

Bryce Young
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Why are the Carolina Panthers reportedly leaning toward quarterback Bryce Young with the No. 1 overall selection in the 2023 NFL Draft?

Monday saw the biggest sign yet that the Carolina Panthers might be taking Bryce Young at No. 1 overall in the 2023 NFL Draft. The team is still scheduled to host C.J. Stroud and Will Levis today (Tuesday) for their top 30 visits, but sportsbooks across the land went heavily in the Alabama product's favor after he opted to cancel any remaining pre-draft meetings ahead of the big night. 

Young knows he isn't getting out of the top two and the Houston Texans are not trading back if the Panthers shock the world and go in a different direction. That's probably the primary reason for the signal-caller's decision to sit back and enjoy the next nine days before he becomes an NFL pro. 

FanDuel Sportsbook now has Young as the overwhelming favorite to be called first at -1200 (bet $1,200 to win $100). Bet MGM even took the first pick off their book entirely after the news. 

The Panthers better be right after striking their daring trade with the Chicago Bears for their pick of the quarterback litter. However, here are three reasons why they could be leaning toward Young atop the draft.

Reason No. 1

Carolina Panthers
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Carolina Panthers are comfortbale with the risks

One cannot examine Bryce Young without identifying the risks associated with the pick. His slender frame and lack of height make him an outlier for future diminutive quarterbacks, which might make durability an issue if he isn't insulated well enough. 

The Carolina Panthers are clearly comfortable enough with the potential complications. They have a good offensive line, can rely on Miles Sanders as a three-down running back, and boast enough players at the skill positions with proven capabilities to get open quickly for good measure. 

That won't prevent Young from taking hits at times. But the prospect displays enough football IQ and maneuverability to keep this down to a minimum.