NFL analyst questions if Carolina Panthers did enough for Bryce Young

It's not like they could have done much more, to be honest.
Bryce Young
Bryce Young / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

After a first year to forget for Bryce Young, the Carolina Panthers moved heaven and earth to ensure their quarterback is given a fairer shake in 2024. This came at the expense of some core defensive pieces - who were either released, traded, or allowed to walk - but those in power need a broader indication of whether the No. 1 pick was a victim of circumstance or not.

Things look much more promising for Young heading into his second campaign. The offensive line interior appears solidified if Austin Corbett makes a successful transition to the center position. Carolina's pass-catchers should be able to separate more effectively within a scheme that plays to the signal-caller's strengths. They also have plenty of options in the running back room to further raise expectations.

Couple this with the renowned capabilities of head coach Dave Canales when it comes to galvanizing quarterbacks, it's not hard to see why most are anticipating big on-field progress from Young. However, one NFL analyst erred on the side of caution and questioned whether the Panthers had done enough.

Carolina Panthers given 'poor' grade for Bryce Young's supporting cast

When grading the situations the prominent second-year quarterbacks have around them entering 2024, Young was ranked last with a 'Poor' outlook given by Nick Akridge from Pro Football Focus. The analyst acknowledged things could progress, but he seemed on the fence all things considered.

"[Bryce] Young is already on his third different play caller, Dave Canales, who was hired as head coach after previously being the offensive coordinator for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he helped resurrect Baker Mayfield’s career. The Panthers' pass-catching group is beginning to turn around, at least on paper, after a dismal 2023. The Panthers this offseason traded for Diontae Johnson, who is seen as one of the best route runners in the NFL and knows how to generate separation. They then drafted Xavier Legette in the first round. The offensive line was also a massive problem last season. The Panthers' unit earned the sixth-worst pass-blocking grade. Due to that, the team made upgrades through free agency by signing Robert Hunt, Damien Lewis and Yosh Nijman. While none of them have posted a grade above 77.0 in their careers, they still will provide a much-needed boost to an offensive line that struggled to keep Bryce Young upright."

It's not as if the Panthers could have done much more for Young this offseason. A significant percentage of their financial assets and high-end draft capital focused solely on the offense. Canales is also molding a scheme around the quarterback rather than trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. Considering where the franchise stood when their 2023 regular-season engagements concluded, it's night and day.

Anyone expecting a miracle turnaround from Young is in for a fall. There's just no telling how much his confidence was knocked last season through no real fault of his own. But if anyone can help him turn the page and focus on what's ahead, it's Canales.

Young has the talent, but he cannot do it alone. Carolina's coaching staff must mesh their plethora of new additions together quickly in pursuit of becoming a cohesive offensive operation. They also need to find the right balance that keeps opposing defenses on their toes.

Canales has already signaled his intent to run the football stubbornly and effectively. If his grand plans come to fruition, it should be enough for Young to get a little extra time in the pocket to go through his progressions and make smarter choices with his distribution.

The Heisman Trophy winner is an easy target right now. He's been written off completely by some in the national media - most of whom declared him too small and incapable of being an NFL quarterback long before he was taken No. 1 overall last year. It might not be the perfect supporting cast just yet, but Young's options have improved exponentially if everyone meets the level expected.

After that, it'll come down to Young.