We need to talk about what the Carolina Panthers should do with the No. 1 pick.
Last week, the Carolina Panthers made sure their team had absolutely zero fans in a current player’s jersey by sending wide receiver DJ Moore and several draft picks to Chicago for the No. 1 pick in the upcoming NFL Draft.
The panther needs help. Owner David Tepper signed head coach Matt Rhule to a seven-year deal last year after just 38 games. They traded for Christian McCaffrey last year. They gave up trying to make Sam Darnold and Baker Mayfield their quarterback of the future.
Things are so bad for the Panthers that they even bailed on plans to build an $800 million practice facility in neighboring Rock Hill, South Carolina, where Tepper’s real estate company filed for bankruptcy midway through construction.
Now, after making the decision to hire Frank Reich to lead the team, both Reich and the Panthers are in desperate need of the one thing that has kept them from consistent success in this league over the last few years: a franchise quarterback.
But which one?
Look guys, don’t think this. Yes, you had lightning in a bottle with Cam Newton, but you’re not going to recreate that with Anthony Richardson out of Florida.
You could get the Cam Newton feel back by chasing Lamar Jackson, but you want a fresh start. It’s not what I would do, but I respect that.
And I know there are some people who think Panthers QB coach Josh McCown is the next Bill Belichick, but even old Bill looks like a mighty man without a Hall of Fame quarterback under center.
Frank Reich is rumored to think Ohio State’s CJ Stroud should be the Panthers QB of the future, while owner David Tepper is more inclined to select Alabama State’s Bryce Young.
I have not said this often, but this time I will say it out loud and with my chest.
David Tepper is right.
The Panthers need someone low maintenance. Someone who is not in danger. Someone who makes the right reads and gets the ball out quickly.
This is clear, Carolina.
All Bryce Young needs to be an NFL star is time and patience. I know Josh McCown is in the building, but he won’t suit up if Young isn’t ready to compete on day one.
So I want to applaud the Panthers for going out and signing Andy Dalton. Someone who can give you 8-10 good starts while showing Bryce what it takes to be a successful quarterback in this league every day. .
And with Dalton giving you everything left in the tank, let Bryce loose and give your fans something to look forward to next offseason.
I don’t begrudge the Panthers if they kick the tires on CJ Stroud. He’s an elite prospect and has something that Bryce Young doesn’t.
But on Draft Day, you’re better off pulling a Kevin Costner out of your pocket and taking the player who can give your franchise and its fans hope for the next decade.
Bryce Young, no matter what.
Let that sink in.