The Carolina Panthers selected Alabama quarterback Bryce Young with the first overall pick of the 2023 NFL Draft.

The selection comes as no surprise. Young headlines a talented quarterback class and separated himself from the rest of the group in the weeks heading into the draft.

He’s the first quarterback the Panthers have selected in the first round since Cam Newton, the No. 1 pick of the 2011 draft.

Young measured in at 5-foot-10, 204 pounds at the combine. However, his size wasn’t an issue in college. He completed 65.7% of his passes while throwing for 8,200 yards and 79 touchdowns against 12 interceptions across two seasons as the Crimson Tide’s starter. The 21-year-old won the Heisman Trophy in 2021.

Young joins a Carolina team that’s struggled at quarterback in recent years. The Panthers, who haven’t made the playoffs since 2017, started three different QBs last season – Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, and P.J. Walker.

Carolina acquired this year’s top draft pick as part of a blockbuster trade with the Chicago Bears in March.

Pre-draft profile

Young’s career at Alabama was outstanding. He has an impeccable feel for the game as the point guard of his offense, terrorizing opponents both within structure and when a play breaks down. His ability to create off-script while maintaining masterful field vision is a rare trait that simply can’t be taught. Young also demonstrates pinpoint accuracy to all levels of the field from the pocket, and more than enough arm talent to execute any throw required of him in an NFL offense. His significant lack of size, which makes him an all-time outlier at the quarterback position, is the only real concern about his game. Fair or not, it creates a gigantic range of outcomes for his career. Young had no issues finding windows and throwing over the middle of the field – an area of struggle for other small quarterbacks – but taking punishment from NFL defenders at his size is a legitimate concern. We’re not going to bet against him, though. The tape is too good.