Did the Panthers get it right in picking Bryce Young? | PFF 2023 NFL Draft Show

The Pro Football Focus live draft show breaks down Carolina grabbing the former Alabama QB with the first pick in this year’s NFL Draft.

Video Transcript

- Bryce Young going number one overall. It felt like he was the guy that Carolina was trading up to number one for, and then Carolina said, OK, OK. We'll open it up, we'll take a look at these other quarterbacks, see if anybody's better than Bryce. And now they land on, well, nobody's better than Bryce. So, Sam, what do you think about him going number one overall? Is this the right choice? Was it-- did it have to be Bryce Young, or was there at any point ever another choice to make here?

- No, I think this is the right pick. Renner predicted this all the way back on this show during the combine. He said, look, we're going to do this big song and dance, we're going to talk about all the other guys, but ultimately, we're going to come back to the idea that Bryce Young has the best tape of all these quarterback prospects. And it's true.

I mean, the only thing to be scared of about Bryce Young is his size. And we don't know that that's actually going to be a problem. It's unprecedented, effectively. There isn't a comp for a guy that size in the NFL, but he's been carving up the SEC with no problem. He's been absolutely dominating a ton of big time throws, back to back years with a 2% turnover worthy play rate. That's absurdly low for a guy that plays in as much chaos as he does. He's the best prospect of this group.

The PFF Draft Guide has a really good heat map, if you guys have the PFF Draft Guide. If you don't, you need it--

- Good plug, good plug.

- --to follow along in the draft. The heat map shows heat in the middle of the field. It shows that Bryce Young, as short as he is, still throws to the middle of the field. Forget batted passes. Somebody on the broadcast somewhere else-- if you're watching and gets all, oh, we've got to worry about batted passes-- because he's short. That's not what you have to worry about. You got to worry about his vision, you've got to be worried about his ability to see the field.

And I think he's shown the ability to do that better than Baker Mayfield, better than Kyler Murray, some of the other short quarterbacks-- Russell Wilson-- that have struggled with that. So Bryce Young-- the other line everybody's saying if he was 6' 2'', slam dunk, no question. We wouldn't even be debating. So if that's the case, you have to take Bryce Young. Best natural playmaker in the draft. I love the pick for the Panthers.

- What do you think, Chris?

- I don't know. I mean, I told you. I think all four of these top quarterbacks have a chance to be great and have a chance-- they all have a fatal flaw somewhere along the way. But I'll say this, I played in the SEC and went to the NFL. It wasn't that much different. I mean, it really wasn't. The quarterbacks were way better, the defenders were a little better, so it offset.

But I do like a lot of things about him. He's magical in the pocket, his eyes glide across the field. Like, sometimes you see guys and they're twitchy almost, trying to go player to player. He just glides, and he glides in the pocket, and he has a way of just creating offense that's really nice.

The concern that I've heard is that even he would admit he throws the ball about 55 yards of depth. And 55 yards is plenty to play in the NFL. That's not the issue. But one thing that is a huge advantage if you can do it, if you have the arm strength, is to throw that moon ball that Russell Wilson's been known for. You get it up over the top so as a receiver, now, you can hold a guy off, and it's going to come down this way instead of this way where he can knock it away.

- Sure.

- He doesn't throw perfect spirals, and as we get into December and January, sometimes that can be a problem. But there's too much to like about him. I mean, let's face it, we rake all these guys over the coals. We tell you everything we don't like about them. He was the best player in high school, he was best player in college, won the Heisman, he's the number one overall pick. Obviously, he's a great player.