Bryce Young is coming to Carolina
It’s the dawn of the Bryce Young era for the Carolina Panthers.
What’s happening: The Panthers selected the 2021 Heisman Trophy winner first overall in the NFL Draft Thursday night. Carolina traded up earlier this year for the first pick.
Why it matters: Drafting a quarterback first overall can determine the trajectory of a franchise, just like drafting Cam Newton No. 1 overall in 2011 did. He went on to become league MVP and lead the team to a Super Bowl.
Yes, but: It’s been a minute since Superman showed Charlotte how to fly and gave kids footballs after touchdowns like presents on Christmas Day. The Panthers haven’t been to the playoffs since 2017. They’ve had several quarterbacks since then. Enter Young.
By the numbers: The Pasadena, California, native started two seasons for Alabama, throwing for 8,200 yards and 79 touchdowns, which were the most in any two-year span in SEC history, Axios’ Jeff Tracey writes.
Of note: Young is small for a first-round quarterback, and at 5-foot-10, he’s the third quarterback under 6 feet taken in the first round during the common draft era (since 1967), and at 204 pounds, he’s the lightest first-round QB since at least 1999.
The bottom line: Between a new face of the franchise in Young and a new head coach in Frank Reich, the Panthers finally have something that’s been missing for years: Hope.
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