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Is Bryce Young Number One?

And with the first pick of the 2023 NFL Draft, the Carolina Panthers select… Honestly, who knows? The Carolina Panthers are claiming that they are still unsure of who they will draft with the number one pick next week. I, for one, am not buying that at all, and you shouldn’t either. Let’s unpack what has happened so far.

After having a rather disappointing 3-14 season, the Chicago Bears had the first pick of the draft. They were not projected to take a quarterback, since the team is building around QB Justin Fields. After much deliberation, the Bears traded the No. 1 overall pick to the Carolina Panthers in exchange for WR D.J. Moore and four draft picks. Many teams had tried to pry the prized top pick away from Chicago and the Panthers seemingly cultivated the right combination to succeed.

It is no secret that the Panthers need a quarterback. The football gods have not been kind to that organization at that position since their departure from QB Cam Newton in 2020. They have had a number of inconsistent quarterbacks since then, which shows up greatly in the team’s record.

The NFL Draft begins on April 27, and the closer we get to that date, the clearer things should become. Former Alabama QB and 2021 Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young is projected to be the first pick. Though the organization is trying not to show their cards, all signs are pointing to Young, even though other talented quarterbacks such as CJ Stroud remain in the mix.

While we remain on the subject of Stroud, it has been interesting to see the QB competition of sorts between him and Young play out. Both would be valuable picks for any organization and both have spent a considerable amount of time dazzling the higher ups within the Panthers’ organization. With two candidates this talented, there is no “wrong” choice, it comes down to who the organization believes to be a better fit.

It is worth noting that before the Panthers traded up, Young was projected to go No. 2 to the Houston Texans, who are also in need of a QB. While they are lacking at that position, some draft experts are projecting another former Alabama player to be selected by the Texans: linebacker Will Anderson Jr. The odds are really in their favor, much to the delight of the Alabama faithful. Anderson is the consensus top defensive player in the draft, so many organizations are hoping to somehow land him.

The NFL Draft is one of those things where you really don’t know until it’s official, which can be both a bad and good thing simultaneously. On the bright side, we know that these players will be valuable assets to any organization lucky enough to have them. On the other end of the spectrum, organizations do their best to set up smoke screens so no one can pinpoint their next move. No matter what happens during this year’s NFL Draft, it’s important to realize that each team is getting a set of talented players and each player is getting a chance to live out their dream.

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