Carolina Panthers great lauds Bryce Young as potential franchise savior

Bryce Young
Bryce Young / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Former Carolina Panthers great Mike Rucker is expecting Bryce Young to be the answer to this once-proud franchise's prayers in 2023 and beyond.

Bryce Young is the talk of the Carolinas, for obvious reasons. Not only is the quarterback dealing with expectations normally associated with the No. 1 overall selection in the 2023 NFL Draft, but he's also picking up a complex new system and looking to establish himself among veterans in readiness for his first NFL start in Week 1 at the Atlanta Falcons.

Young's transition over early workouts couldn't have gone any better, truth be told. He was poised, handled himself with aplomb, and displayed a quiet sense of conviction that instantly won over established figures such as Adam Thielen, Hayden Hurst, and Brian Burns among others.

Frank Reich and his staff almost seem mesmerized by Young's ability to process information and identify scheme concepts. Something that's opened up the playbook fully and increased confidence that a potential NFC South challenge next season could be in the team's immediate future.

Carolina Panthers great expects big things from Bryce Young

Momentum is clearly building where Young is concerned. When asked about the former Alabama star recently, former Carolina Panthers great Mike Rucker was highly complimentary of a player he believes can be a savior of sorts after so much personnel mismanagement at football's most crucial position via Alex Zietlow of The Herald.

"I think it’s a great addition to the organization. And for the Carolinas. And the reason why I say that is, I’ve met him. I’ve met his parents. We’ve had many conversations. And you can just see how he respects the game. He’s humble. And he’s eager to learn, but he’s putting in the work. Obviously we haven’t had the season yet. But you can just see with the time that he’s gotten with the team, you can ask anybody in the organization, his first priority is winning ballgames and being in the organization and leading this team. I think that when you look at what they have done and have surrounded him with some veterans, with some good people, he is then able to be the best version of himself."

Mike Rucker via The Herald

Of course, there was one big concern surrounding Young throughout the pre-draft process. It wasn't so much his 5-foot-10 height, but rather a slender frame that would be susceptible to injuries given that defensive linemen will be looking to take him out on every down.

Young seems to have filled out his frame in the few weeks he's been working with Carolina's strength and conditioning team, which is encouraging. Couple this with the fact he played in the SEC - a premier NFL pipeline - and Rucker believes these concerns have been blown way out of proportion.

"I think that when guys come out of college, they have to find something. You can’t be this perfect guy. So really the only that they could say is his size. But ultimately when you think about the conference that he played in, the school that he went to — last time I checked, Alabama isn’t a small, running little team. There are some big guys on both sides of the ball. I think that he’s taken his licks before. And I think that he’ll be fine."

Mike Rucker via The Herald

This seems to be the general consensus surrounding Young, who has the highest projected floor of any quarterback since perhaps Trevor Lawrence. Again, it's a lot to ask of someone with no NFL experience, but the Heisman Trophy winner has been working up to this moment his whole life and won't want to let anyone down.

With camp on the horizon, Young's next big challenge awaits. But it's something he'll take in his stride and overcome with relative ease based on how things are currently unfolding for a quarterback with the world at his feet.