The Carolina Panthers selected Bryce Young out of Alabama with the first overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. In doing so, they are hoping they have their quarterback of the future. and wide receiver DJ Moore to the Chicago Bears to get that top spot and have their pick of the bunch.
Ultimately, it was Young who got their attention most and is someone they believe they can invest in and get success in return. The Panthers also had Ohio State's C.J. Stroud and Florida's Anthony Richardson as other top quarterbacks to choose from.
Ahead of the NFL Combine, Panthers' head coach Frank Reich reminded the scouting department about what qualities, in his mind, make a great offensive leader. Reich said he composed a list of five factors that leads to this "greatness," and he finalized the list while watching Hall of Famer Peyton Manning.
Prior to the NFL Combine, Frank Reich stood in front of the Panthers' scouting department to outline his 5 critical factors for QBs— Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) June 28, 2023
1. The QB should be the toughest player on the team
2. Footwork and Finish
4. Playmaking Ability
5. X-Factor. The QB is a multiplier. pic.twitter.com/b7VV7WIkjv
"When I was coaching Peyton Manning and watching him, watching how he operated, as a personal coaching exercise I was just like 'Well, what makes this guy special?' So I came up with just five traits of greatness," Reich said, prompting those in the room to pull out their notebooks and catch some insight from the experienced coach.
Reich said the first item is that the quarterback should be the "toughest guy on the field" both mentally and physically. They should have a "relentless mindset of 'nothing's gonna stop me.' It's a toughness, it's a confidence that is palpable and the whole team feels it."
Footwork and finish take the second spot on the list, with accuracy following.
"We all know accuracy is very important," Reich said. That led into No. 4, which is playmaking ability.
"The uncanny ability to make plays in the clutch. When it really matters the most, somebody needs to make a stinkin' play. Great quarterbacks just find a way to do it."
Rounding out the list is the X factor, which involves all other "intangibles." Reich said the quarterback needs to be a multiplier and make "everything better."
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Clearly, the Panthers believe Young has these qualities, or at least of quarterbacks available in the draft, he came the closest to having all five factors.
Earlier this offseason, Reich compared Young to Manning, saying they have similar football knowledge.
"Just confirmed the level of football IQ he has that's on par with Peyton [Manning], [Matt] Ryan, [Philip] Rivers, [Andrew] Luck," Reich said on Young calling a five-man slide in college, which he called "an incredibly smart and incredibly risky call."
Reich continued, saying (via USA Today), "I'm telling you: There are quarterbacks in the NFL who haven't done what he did right there—and he did it easily in his true freshman year in college. To have the confidence to make that call for Alabama in his second college game. Unreal."
Young could have his first chance to prove he is a tough player with good footwork, accuracy, playmaking ability and the X factor on Sept. 10 when Carolina's season kicks off with an away game against the Atlanta Falcons. The Panthers also have Andy Dalton and Matt Corral in the quarterback room, "that this thing is gonna be Bryce's at some point."