If Bryce Young wasn’t already considered the Carolina Panthers’ top selection with their No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, his move on Monday almost solidified it.
Through the widespread speculation that the Panthers were going to select Young with their top pick, the 2021 Heisman Trophy winner reportedly canceled all of his remaining pre-draft visits to other NFL teams.
This move seems to confirm to experts what they already thought: The Panthers have already told Young they will take him first overall on April 27.
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However, this wasn’t always the case. C.J. Stroud from Ohio State seemed to be the favorite to go to the Panthers once they traded with the Chicago Bears for the pick. But Young’s name was floated more and more in draft rumors since the trade went down.
Young has already visited with the Panthers as well as the Houston Texans, who own the No. 2 overall selection.
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His measurements at the NFL Scouting Combine were of high importance as he doesn’t have the prototypical build for a quarterback in the league. He measured at 5 feet 10 1/8 inches tall and 204 pounds.
For comparison, Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray, who was taken first overall in 2019, measured the same height and weighed three pounds heavier at 207.
“I've been this size, respectfully, my whole life,” Young said at the time. “I know who I am, I know what I can do. For me, it's fair. Everyone can speculate, ask me every question. I'm going to continue to control what I can control, continue to keep working my hardest. … I'm confident in myself. I know what I can do.”
Young’s size hasn’t deterred scouts from putting him high on their draft board, though, as his film and cerebral knowledge of the game makes them believe he will translate well to the NFL.
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But as we’ve seen in the past, the NFL Draft can be all smoke and mirrors right up until Commissioner Roger Goodell announces the first pick. So, Young’s future in the NFL, though believed to start in Carolina, won’t be set in stone until that day.