Carolina Panthers welcome No. 1 pick Bryce Young
Young comes to Carolina after starring for the Crimson Tide the past two seasons.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WBTV) - After years of a revolving door at quarterback, the Carolina Panthers got their guy on Thursday night, taking Alabama’s Bryce Young with the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft.
The Panthers traded up for the top choice in March, and now, a month-and-a-half later, have the player they hope will become their next franchise quarterback.
Fans are invited to come to Bank of America Stadium beginning at 11:30 a.m. Friday to welcome Young to the Queen City.
There will be a DJ and an opportunity to take photos and win autographs from the new quarterback as he makes his way into the stadium, according to the Panthers.
Young is expected to answer questions when he’s formally introduced by the team.
Young starred for the Crimson Tide the past two seasons, leading them to a national championship in his first year as a starter, while picking up a Heisman Trophy award that season.
Over the past two seasons, the former top-rated high school quarterback passed for exactly 8,200 yards and 79 touchdowns. In that same timeframe, he threw only 12 interceptions. He also added seven rushing scores.
The selection of Young marks the first of the Frank Reich era in Carolina, and immediately fits into a clear plan at the quarterback position – something that was lacked over the past few years.
Young is only the third signal-caller ever taken by the Panthers in the first round, joining Cam Newton in 2011 and Kerry Collins in 1995.
Newton and Young were both selected with the top overall pick. Their respective drafts also mark the only two times Carolina has ever had the first pick.
Young’s accuracy and excellent decision-making skills, along with his impressive collegiate resume, made him a top prospect in this year’s class, along with Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud, Florida’s Anthony Richardson and Kentucky’s Will Levis.
All four quarterbacks had been in the running at different times throughout the pre-draft process, but it became somewhat apparent in recent weeks that Carolina would select Young once it got on the clock.
Now that it’s official, Young will be paired with veteran quarterback Andy Dalton, who was signed in free agency from New Orleans this offseason.
Dalton will presumably serve as a mentor to Young, preparing him for what the Panthers hope will be success both on and off the field.
With the 21-year-old now officially headed to Carolina, the coaching staff will get its first look at its new quarterback during rookie minicamp, which will be held mid-May.
Young will be surrounded by a talented group of playmakers on offense, even after trading away star players Christian McCaffrey and D.J. Moore over the past 12 months.
In addition to Dalton, the Panthers signed several other impact players in free agency, including running back Miles Sanders, tight end Hayden Hurst, and wide receivers Adam Thielen and D.J. Chark.
And, for the first time in about a decade, the offense is set to enter the season with a franchise left tackle in Ikem Ekwonu, and returns all five starters on the offensive line.
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