Here's the No. 1 Pick in This Year's NFL Draft

Carolina Panthers take Bryce Young at No. 1 overall in NFL draft
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 28, 2023 12:00 AM CDT
Meet the No. 1 Pick in This Year's NFL Draft
FILE - Alabama quarterback Bryce Young (9) throws the ball during the first half of the team's NCAA college football game against Mississippi State, Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022, in Tuscaloosa, Ala.   (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt, File)

The Carolina Panthers believe they’ve finally found their franchise quarterback. The Panthers selected Alabama’s Bryce Young with the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft on Thursday night, the first time the team has selected a QB with the top overall pick since Cam Newton in 2011, the AP reports. He becomes the first Alabama player selected No. 1 overall since Harry Gilmer in 1948.

Young was 30-4 as a starter during three seasons with the Crimson Tide, throwing for 8,356 yards with 80 touchdowns and only 12 interceptions. He won the Heisman Trophy in 2021 after tossing 47 TD passes and helping Alabama go 13-2 and reach the College Football Playoff national championship game. The 5-foot-10, 204-pound Young is considered small by NFL standards, and is just the third quarterback since the merger shorter than 6 feet to be selected in the first round, joining Kyler Murray and Johnny Manziel. But the Panthers have said they don’t have any reservations about his stature, noting he only had two passes batted down at the line of scrimmage last season. ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. called Young the “ultimate outlier” because of his size, but still listed him as his best QB available.

General manager Scott Fitterer sent four draft picks—including two first-rounders—and wide receiver DJ Moore to the Chicago Bears last month in a blockbuster deal that allowed the Panthers to move up eight spots and have their choice of quarterbacks. Carolina also considered Ohio State’s CJ Stroud, Kentucky’s Will Levis, and Florida’s Anthony Richardson. The Panthers hope Young brings stability to a position that has been in flux since 2017, the previous time the franchise reached the postseason. It's unclear if Young will start right away. Coach Frank Reich said prior to the draft that the decision to start a rookie quarterback would largely depend on how fast he develops and gets a grasp of the system. The Panthers signed veteran Andy Dalton as a stop-gap until Young is ready.

(More NFL draft stories.)

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