“It’s Hard Not To Like That Kid” | Carolina Panthers Veterans Rave Over Rookie QB Bryce Young

When the Carolina Panthers drafted former Alabama Crimson Tide and 2021 Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young No. 1 overall in the 2023 NFL draft, many factors played a role in their decision.

Young’s leadership, his uncanny ability to stay calm amid chaos, and, last but not least, his pure football acumen were all off the charts.

Not one to boast about his talent, the elite but diminutive signal-caller has always been questioned because of his smallish frame.

That hasn’t stopped him one bit from excelling on the gridiron.

Bryce Young Concludes First Minicamp

As the team concluded its first mandatory minicamp this weekend, many of the veterans lauded Young for his maturity.

The former Mater Dei star left an indelible impression on his teammates.

First it was Pro Bowl edge rusher Brian Burns, who raved about his new QB. 

“It’s hard not to like that kid,” Burns said via ESPN’s David Newton. “He’s put quite a stamp on the locker room. He walks around with this kind of — excuse my language — ‘humble but I know I’m the s–t’ type of swag. You know? He’s got it, but he’s humble with it.”

That’s the same quiet confidence that drew Young’s college coach, Nick Saban, to him. It’s also another one of the reasons the Panthers chose him No. 1 overall.

Young, despite his size, has things you just can’t teach, and the bulk of it is from the neck up. 

Free Agent WR Adam Thielen Wasn’t Surprised

Burns’ response says it all, but for free agent wide receiver signee Adam Thielen, Young’s ability didn’t come as much of a surprise.

“There’s so much talk about him, so there’s not a whole lot of surprise,” Thielen said. “For me, it’s probably been his movement in the pocket, his ability to get the ball out on time but do it in a way that isn’t just, like, sitting in one stagnant spot. 

“Sometimes this time of year, it can be easy when you’re not getting hit, no pads on … to just sit there, and no fear, and just throw it around. But you can tell he practices like a game. … That’s been really impressive.

Thielen’s comments sound like he was saying “BY9,” is as good as advertised. And that means everything to the Panthers, who are in a very winnable division heading into 2023, that means everything. 

Young Was Bumped Up To No. 1 On Depth Chart

Earlier this month, first-year head coach Frank Reich saw enough of Young to put him at the top of depth chart.

And before you say it’s only OTAs, that move shows that Young has gotten acclimated to what Reich and the offense wants and needs from their quarterback.

It also proved that Young’s elite football IQ has been on full display since he arrived in Carolina.

And while there will be plenty of rookie growing pains for Young, the Panthers franchise strongly believes they’ve finally found that elusive successor to former MVP Cam Newton. One they’ve been looking for the better part of nearly four long seasons. 

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