What can the Carolina Panthers realistically expect from Bryce Young in 2023?
By Dean Jones
What can the Carolina Panthers realistically expect from their new rookie quarterback Bryce Young during the upcoming 2023 season?
Bryce Young has high expectations on his shoulders. Something that's expected of any No. 1 overall selection, but it bares more significance in this instance given what his success could mean to the Carolina Panthers in the short and long term.
Those in power took drastic action at football's most important position this offseason after a series of failed trades. Securing a whopping leap from No. 9 overall to control the 2023 NFL Draft sent shockwaves through the league and after thorough assessments, led those in power to Young.
The former Alabama signal-caller conducts himself impeccably on and off the field. There is a measured approach to almost everything associated with Young that's hard not to love and is something other players naturally gravitate toward along the way.
An undeniable aura surrounds Young, which only raises the expectancy levels ahead of his first NFL campaign. The Panthers will begin OTAs with Andy Dalton as the No. 1 option, but it shouldn't take long for the roles to reverse once the Heisman Trophy winner gets up to speed.
What should the Carolina Panthers expect from Bryce Young in 2023?
Hopes are high and Young's career path indicates that Carolina's bold gamble will reap some hefty rewards over time. But what should fans realistically expect from their new face of the franchise next season?
Tempering expectations might be the best way to go. Young is sure to be a franchise-altering presence under center, but it would be surprising if one or two growing pains didn't emerge throughout his rookie season.
Even generational talents such as Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck, and Trevor Lawrence went through their fair share of complications as rookies. Others currently taking the league by storm such as Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, and Jalen Hurts played sparingly or completely sat out their first campaigns as professionals.
The point is, expecting miracles sets Young up for failure. It's a good situation he finds himself in Carolina, and a smooth transition could definitely see the Panthers contend for the NFC South title looking at the current state of affairs within the division.
Another positive for Young is the bar couldn't be much lower. Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield, P.J. Walker, and Teddy Bridgewater have all fluffed their lines in one way or another since Cam Newton's controversial release in 2020, so it won't be difficult to provide an upgrade in that regard.
Taking things one game at a time is crucial. Playing to Young's strengths, relying on his elite processing, and allowing the quarterback to lead by example would also be wise methods for Carolina's all-star staff to approach matters.
Young is among the favorites for NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year for a reason. The man oozes class between the lines and is rarely flustered by any moment, so it's not hard to envisage a profitable season within a scheme that's been devised with his athletic intangibles in mind.
If Young could get around the 4,000-yard passing mark together with 20-25 touchdowns, it's a huge step in the right direction. More importantly, keeping mistakes to a minimum and coming through with the game at stake is of critical importance.
Can Young pull all this off? Time will tell.