NFL coach lays out biggest concern with Carolina Panthers picking Bryce Young
By Dean Jones
A current NFL coach laid out the biggest concern the Carolina Panthers cannot ignore where former Alabama quarterback Bryce Young is concerned.
There seems to be a growing belief among fans and media outlets that the Carolina Panthers are going to select Bryce Young at No. 1 overall in the 2023 NFL Draft. C.J. Stroud remains the favorite among sportsbooks - although not by much - but some respected analysts and insiders are now pretty convinced based on recent reports.
While nothing has been decided as yet with the four quarterbacks attending their top 30 visits this week, it would be a surprise if influential figures within the Panthers didn't have their favorite by now. And after blowing those in power away with his football IQ, Young might be the guy when it's all said and done.
This doesn't come without risk, obviously. Young would be the smallest starting quarterback in the league both in terms of height and build, which might lead to durability complications if the Panthers' offensive line cannot meet their end of the bargain.
Carolina Panthers would need to insulate Bryce Young
The topic was recently discussed by Peter King in his latest Football Morning in America column. Speaking to a current NFL coach, the writer laid out the biggest primary factor behind Young's NFL potential that must factor heavily into Carolina's complex equation.
"This coach asked me about the defensive fronts Young will face. “Alabama’s line was superior,” this coach said, “and Young consistently had enough time to throw. Taking away nothing from him, because he made the throws and made the plays to be great. But the offensive line for him will be crucial. Think of the defensive coordinators he’ll face, and how much they’ll emphasize putting good hits on him. I don’t see how that’s not a big factor when you put a grade on him.” People will say Young faced great defensive linemen in the SEC, and he did. But he’s not likely to have an NFL offensive line as foreboding as the one he had at Alabama."- Peter King, Football Morning in America
Young's lack of true size hasn't stopped him from being prolific as yet. He sees the field well and processes things better than most starting NFL quarterbacks already, so it's a case of insulating him well enough to continue on this upward trajectory.
Carolina's offensive line was a real bright spot last season. The group became cohesive and stayed relatively healthy, although two long-term complications to Austin Corbett and Brady Christensen need to be closely monitored throughout the offseason.
The Panthers boast a legitimate three-down running back after signing Miles Sanders in free agency to take the heat off in key moments. There is also enough at the skill positions to help Young despite sacrificing D.J. Moore as part of their trade with the Chicago Bears.
Young has some traits that cannot be taught. He is a magician at times who thrives under the spotlight, but one could also make a strong case for Stroud being the pick as the best pure passer in the 2023 class.
It won't be much longer before the big night arrives. One that will finally end all the rumors, speculation, narrative pushing, and debate about who Carolina's next franchise player under center will be.
If the pick is Young - which is entirely possible - then the Panthers must ensure he's put in the best possible position to excel immediately. Because if this goes wrong for whatever reason, certain individuals in positions of power will pay with their jobs.
Yes, the stakes are that high.