Former Panthers Great Sends Strong Message About Bryce Young

Getty Former Panthers receiving great Steve Smith Sr. implied on the NFL Network during Alabama's pro day that Bryce Young has what Carolina is looking for

Former Panthers receiving great Steve Smith implied on the NFL Network that Alabama QB Bryce Young has what Carolina is looking for in a quarterback during Alabama’s pro day on March 23.

“Timing, accuracy, processing, mobility,” Smith said when asked what the Panthers are looking for with their No. 1 overall selection in the 2023 NFL draft. “They want to know what they’ve seen on film and when they see him in person, it confirms what they have already seen. Yes, his measurables are not ideal, but I’d rather take a quarterback who processes quickly, who spins the ball. One scout told me he loves the way he spins the ball. His timing.”

Smith gave the Alabama quarterback serious praise in the process.

“He’s the quickest, and he processes at another level,” Smith said.

Analyst: Bryce Young is a ‘Franchise Maker’

ESPN’s Peter Burns waxed poetic following Alabama’s pro day on March 23, tweeting out that Young is a “franchise maker” who could serve as a leader on and off the field to whichever NFL team takes him in the 2023 draft’s first round.

“In a league in which if you look at a QB sideways, they will throw a flag, there is no doubt that Bryce Young should be the 1st pick of the draft,” Burns wrote. “Anyone who over thinks Bryce Young as QB1 deserves what’s coming to them. A leader on and off the field. Franchise maker”

Fellow ESPN NFL analyst Jordan Reid had a similar take on Young’s ability to lead an NFL franchise from the jump.

“A+ poise, accurate, (Bryce Young) can beat you stationary inside of the pocket and with sandlot-like plays outside of it,” Reid prefaced before saying, “Size concerns, but he has the skillset to be a face of the franchise type of player right away.”

Analyst: Panthers Lean CJ Stroud Due to Bryce Young’s Size

ESPN’s Todd McShay, who interviewed Young after his workout at Alabama’s pro day, believes the Panthers could lean towards Ohio State’s CJ Stroud due to Carolina head coach Frank Reich’s experience with bigger quarterbacks.

“I’m going to give you some names and some heights that Frank Reich has worked with over his career — Peyton Manning 6-5, Phil Rivers 6-5, Carson Wentz 6-5, Nick Foles 6-6, Andrew Luck 6-5, Matt Ryan 6-4 … that doesn’t mean Reich and the Panthers staff is going to say no to a 5-10 Young, but you have to lean more in my opinion to Stroud, who’s 6-3, and is a pocket passer with the stature that Reich likes,” McShay said.

McShay believes the No. 1 pick will either be Stroud or Florida’s Anthony Richardson, who he deems a “wild card.”

“But the more I’m thinking about it, the more likely is that it’s Stroud and the wild card is Anthony Richardson just because of the potential and the development and what Reich has done with quarterbacks over the years,” McShay said.