The Carolina Panthers may have screwed the pooch big time when it comes to Bryce Young.
Bryce Young canceling his visit with the Carolina Panthers is a telling sign for what is to come.
The former Alabama star quarterback should be the first player taken in the 2023 NFL Draft. He is the best player at the most important position on the field entering the draft this year. Young may be undersized, but he plays with a certain magic that is hard to quantify. Rather than say he is the next Drew Brees or Russell Wilson, we probably dealing with potentially the next Joe Burrow here.
So when Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer mentioned Young canceled his visit, oh, boy…
Could this indicate that new head coach Frank Reich got his way? While we all know that he doesn’t do short quarterbacks, this slightly shocking cancelation could indicate that Carolina may take either Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud or Florida’s Anthony Richardson with the top overall selection.
What does this mean for the Panthers and Young going forward in the lead-up to the NFL Draft?
NFL Draft rumors: Carolina Panthers may not take Bryce Young with No. 1 pick
From a talent evaluation standpoint, combined with need, Young is one of three players worthy of going first overall to the Panthers next Thursday night. It all really depends on how you rank Richardson, Stroud and Young, one-two-three. Richardson has the highest upside of them all, but has the lowest floor. Stroud is the safest candidate, while I believe that Young is the smartest bet.
If Carolina is going to go with Stroud, then I think the Panthers can live with the decision should it blow up in their face. Doing so would allow Young to fall to the Houston Texans at No. 2, where he would play for fellow Crimson Tide alum in first-time head coach DeMeco Ryans. Should Houston be moronic, then the Arizona Cardinals will get a king’s ransom for whoever wants the No. 3 pick.
And truth be told, the only team that can take Richardson over Young and it be semi-justified are the Panthers. The only reason why this could be tolerated is that one of Richardson’s best NFL prototypes is Panthers legendary quarterback Cam Newton. Richardson could be that, or he could be JaMarcus Russell. The variation is that vast when it comes to him. This is a very risky maneuver.
So how does this land with me and how should it land with you? I don’t think you can feel good about this news from the Panthers’ perspective in the slightest. You only trade up to No. 1 if you have complete and absolute confidence in who you are picking. Because Young is and should be QB1, then Carolina paid a gross premium to draft QB2 or even QB3 when they didn’t even have to.
Carolina better hope either Stroud or Richardson hit because the Panthers cost themselves big.