After weeks of uncertainty, the Carolina Panthers have finally made their decision and turned in their draft card. After swinging a trade with the Chicago Bears in March, the Panthers have drafted former Alabama quarterback Bryce Young with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
A two-time MaxPreps Player of the Year at Mater Dei High School in California, Young backed up current New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones as a freshman before dominating the college football landscape over the past two seasons. Young carved up defenses for more than 4,800 yards and 47 touchdowns compared to just seven interceptions in 2021 en route to winning the Heisman Trophy and leading the Crimson Tide to the College Football Playoff national championship game. Alabama missed out on the College Football Playoff in 2022, but Young was again named a Heisman finalist behind his 3,300-yard passing, 32-touchdown campaign.
While he's considered to be the top quarterback in this class, he measured in at 5-foot-10 and 204 pounds at the NFL Combine. Kyler Murray is the only other QB under 6 feet tall drafted first overall in the common draft era. Young is also the first Alabama player to be selected No. 1 overall in the common draft era, and is the third Crimson Tide signal-caller to be selected in the first round in the last four years.
Despite Young's historically small stature, head coach Frank Reich and team owner David Tepper believe he can be Carolina's franchise quarterback for years to come. Young thrived under pressure during his time in college, and he showed poise when things fell apart in the pocket.
Below is a comprehensive draft profile for Young, including his scouting report, prospect ranking, pro comparison, combine results, college and high school accolades and overall NFL outlook.
NFL Draft grade: B-
"He is the best pure passer in this draft, but I am worried about his size. It's a strange move to move up to take a guy this small by giving up so much to do it. But he has talent, if he holds up. He's is an outlier we've never seen." -- Pete Prisco
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Bryce Young draft profile
- Age: 21
- Hometown: Pasadena, California
- Interesting fact: First Alabama quarterback to win the Heisman Trophy
- CBS Sports prospect ranking: No. 2 overall | No. 1 QB | 92.63 rating (All-Pro)
NFL Combine measurements/results
Height: 5-10 1/8 | Weight: 204 lbs | Arms: 33 7/8" | Hands: 9 3/4"
- 40-yard dash: N/A
- Broad jump: N/A
- Vertical jump: N/A
Bryce Young is a short, spindly framed passer with a rapid release. He is patient in the pocket and a sudden athlete, allowing him to bounce away from pressure regularly. Creativity as an athlete is borderline elite, although he won't run away from many defenders in the NFL. He looks to create off-structure, too, often with too many theatrics, and his style is a bit frenetic when things break down. Arm strength and deep ball accuracy are good, not great, and he tends to make too many throws from an unbalanced base -- simply because he's a very natural thrower -- that may not have enough juice to get to the intended target in the NFL. He's experienced reading the entire field and clicks through his reads in a hurry. He's very accurate but not absolutely elite, and he's quick to spot open receivers in a scramble drill. Noticeably tough, though he did take a lot of sacks in college. He has poise beyond his years.
- Incredibly poised, chaos doesn't faze him in the pocket
- Super creative to avoid pressure and can release the ball from any arm angle or platform
- Tough as nails, willing to take hits behind the line or in space
- Anticipatory thrower who also reads the entire field in a hurry
- At times tries to do too much as an improviser
- Arm talent and speed are good, not outstanding
- Unprecedented tiny frame and takes plenty of hits
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College stats, accolades
- 2022: Heisman Trophy finalist
- 2022: Second-team All-American (USA Today, PFF)
- 2022: Sugar Bowl MVP
- 2021: Heisman Trophy
- 2021: Davey O'Brien Award
- 2021: Associated Press College Football Player of the Year
- 2021: Consensus All-American
- 2021: CFP national champion
- Career: Only quarterback in school history to throw for 3,000-plus yards in two seasons (2021-22)
- Career: All-time leader in five-TD games (five), second in passing yards (8,356) and second in passing TDs (80)
- 2021: Set school single-season marks for passing yards (4,872) and TDs (47)
- 2021: Seventh in FBS with 167.5 efficiency rating
- 2021 (vs. Miami): Most passing yards (344) and TDs (four) by an Alabama QB in starting debut
- 2021: (vs. Arkansas): Broke 52-year school record for single-game passing yards (559)
High school: Mater Dei (Santa Ana, California)
Composite Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (0.9994)
- National: 1 | Dual-threat QB: 1 | California: 1 | All-time: 20
High school accolades: Co-National Player of the Year (MaxPreps), Junior Co-National Player of the Year (MaxPreps), All-American Bowl Player of the Year, two-time first-team All-American (MaxPreps), Gatorade Player of the Year in California, High School Quarterback of the Year by the National Quarterback Club, Maxwell Offensive Player of the Year, first-team sophomore All-American (MaxPreps), first-team All-State (MaxPreps)