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The Carolina Panthers overspent for the Bears’ first overall pick

Carolina Panthers Draft Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The Carolina Panthers, a team that has struggled at the quarterback position ever since Cam Newton’s MVP season in 2015, was by all reports mesmerized by projected number one overall pick Bryce Young. 

Young, Alabama’s most recent starting quarterback, has been described as a generational prospect at the position. Mel Kiper., a legendary draft day broadcaster, has described Young as such in an article published by 247 Sports. 

“Guaranteed No. 1 pick, generational talent,” Kiper said in the article. “He’s gonna be talked about the same way as Trevor Lawrence was. He’s drawing comparisons to Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers already.”

Young forwent his senior season at Alabama and declared for the NFL draft this spring. All odds point to him being chosen at the number one overall spot, a draft slot once held by the Chicago Bears. 

In order to get Young, it was clear that the Panthers (or any other team that wanted Young) would have to trade for the No. 1 overall pick, as the Houston Texans – another quarterback-needy team – sat at the No. 2 pick. 

Since the Chicago Bears weren’t in immediate need of a new quarterback due to the acquisition of starting quarterback Justin Fields, it seemed likely that the team would test the waters to see who would pay up for a chance at Bryce Young. 

The Carolina Panthers jumped on the opportunity, and the Chicago Bears simply couldn’t reject the hefty offer that the Panthers made; the No. 9  and No. 61 (Round 2) overall draft pick, a 2024 first-round pick, a 2025 second-round pick and star wide receiver D.J. Moore. 

Despite the early hype around Young, many have begun to argue that the Panthers might look towards Florida’s Anthony Richardson or Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud, as both quarterbacks put on mesmerizing combine visits. 

No matter who the Panthers draft, there’s one thing that will likely stand the test of time – the Panthers overpaid for the No. 1 pick. If Young were a sure thing as the top draft choice, it’d be a different story. 

In a draft class that has this much talent at the quarterback position, it just seems a bit risky to put all your eggs into one basket – especially when no single quarterback stands out as the outright number one draft choice anymore. 

Yes, Young is still the favorite to be chosen No. 1 overall, but he is by no means a lock to succeed in the NFL. This trade package only makes sense when trading to draft a Peyton Manning or Andrew Luck-esque prospect – one that will undoubtedly bring success to your organization. 

After all, countless top-ranked quarterbacks that have been drafted in recent years have failed due to a lack of talent surrounding them. Who’s to say that a quarterback, even with generational talent, will succeed on a roster that recently lost its two best offensive playmakers (running back Christian McCaffrey and Moore) and hasn’t made much of a splash in free agency?

The Panthers, in short, are not a team that is built to win. Time and time again, NFL teams prioritize drafting a so-called generational talent prior to building a team on which that generational talent can succeed, resulting in a plethora of draft busts. 

After college quarterbacks at schools like Alabama spend multiple seasons with the best rosters in Division I NCAA football (all-star receivers, all-star offensive linemen and all-stars at practically every other position relative to the rest of college football), there should be no surprised faces when they struggle to adjust to having one of the worst rosters in NFL football.  

Talent is relative, and no amount of quarterbacking talent can turn an extremely poor NFL team into a winning team. 

The Panthers, eager to solve their quarterbacking issue, gave up four draft picks that could have been used to set up a solid offensive line that could protect a solution to their quarterbacking issue. 

Instead, the Panthers are set up to draft one of the top-ranked quarterbacks, and it’s hard to do anything but prepare for the worst, as whoever the Panthers select will be expected to bring immediate results without a roster that can produce them. 

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