So much for all the drama. We’re more than a week out from the start of the 2023 NFL Draft, and it looks like we already know who’s going first overall.
There’s been some debate about it for a while. When the Chicago Bears owned the pick, some wondered if they would trade it away, or use it on Alabama pass-rusher Will Anderson Jr., or Georgia defensive lineman Jalen Carter.
Then, the Panthers acquired the pick in a monster blockbuster deal, and many believed that they actually favored C.J. Stroud over Bryce Young. There were also some rumblings that the team could consider Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson.
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Well, you can scrap all of that, because the latest report from the NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero ahead of the NFL Draft indicates that former Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Bryce Young is indeed the man who will be tasked with carrying the Carolina Panthers franchise into the foreseeable future.
According to Pelissero, Young has cancelled all of his remaining pre-draft visits, with the expectation that he’ll be taken first-overall in the draft.
Young has been scrutinized over his size, with many questioning whether he can stay healthy and deliver the ball over massive offensive linemen at the NFL level. Those concerns are valid, but they shouldn’t overshadow Young’s remarkable resume during his time in Talahasse.
In 2020, he won a national championship with the Crimson Tide, albeit as a backup to current New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones. Then, in 2021, he turned in a season for the ages, throwing for 4,872 yards and 47 touchdowns, en route to Heisman Trophy honors. Unfortunately, that season would end on a sour note, with a loss to SEC-rival Georgia in the National Championship Game.
In 2022, the Crimson Tide failed to get back to the College Football Playoff with an 11-2 record. But Young still impressed enough to finish sixth in Heisman voting while also securing his spot as one of the top picks in this year’s NFL draft.
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