The first pick of the 2023 NFL Draft is in. And it comes with no surprise attached.
The Carolina Panthers selected Alabama quarterback Bryce Young with the No. 1 overall selection on Thursday, ending months of speculation of which quarterback the Panthers would take after trading a haul of assets to the Chicago Bears to move up from No. 9 to No. 1.
Carolina did its due diligence on all four projected first-round quarterbacks, Young, C.J. Stroud, Will Levis and Anthony Richardson, but in the end were the most impressed by Young.
The Panthers will make Bryce Young the first pick in the NFL Draft in about two hours. And as for what stood out with himhis football intelligence and ability to process really separated Young from the pack.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) April 27, 2023
He was the baseline pick when the trade happened. And he held serve.
While Young's 2022 season didn't quite replicate his successful 2021 campaign that resulted in him winning the Heisman Trophy, he still had an impressive year for the Crimson Tide. Young completed 64.5 percent of his passes while throwing for 3,328 yards, 32 touchdowns and just five interceptions.
Perhaps the most surprising stat that comes with Young's selection by Carolina: He becomes the first player coached by Nick Saban at Alabama to be taken with the first overall pick in an NFL Draft. Saban had 41 players selected in the first round in his Alabama tenure previous to Young's selection.