When the Carolina Panthers take the field for their first set of organized team activities, they'll have a new quarterback under center. But according to head coach Frank Reich, that quarterback won't be No. 1 overall pick Bryce Young. At least not at first. Instead, it'll be the veteran Andy Dalton.
Reich said Saturday that Dalton will take the first reps at OTAs, according to The Athletic; but as the "new guy," Young will end up getting the majority of the work.
A 12-year veteran who started 14 games for the Saints last year, Dalton is heading into his age-36 season. His team has not posted a winning record in his starts since 2015, a period during which he has gone 33-51-1 as a starter while completing 62.7% of his passes at an average of 6.9 yards per attempt. Needless to say, if the Panthers are starting him, even to begin the season, that is not good.
It seems incredibly likely that Young will be the team's starter on opening day, just as Trevor Lawrence, Joe Burrow, and Kyler Murray were during their rookie seasons. The last No. 1 overall pick quarterback who did not start opening week was Baker Mayfield in 2018. There are similar questions about Young's size as there were with Mayfield, but Young is considered a much higher-level prospect due to his accuracy and ability to make plays outside the structure of the offense. It would be a pretty big upset if he did not end up starting for Carolina in Week 1.