2023 mock NFL Draft 2.0: Fallout from free agency wave and NFL Combine

The 2022 NFL Draft logo Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
The 2022 NFL Draft logo Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
2 of 35
Bryce Young, Alabama Crimson Tide
Bryce Young, Alabama Crimson Tide(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

Crimson Tide . Bryce Young. 1. player. 829. . Quarterback

On the clock: NFL Draft Pick No. 1: Carolina Panthers – Bryce Young, Quarterback, Alabama

Mock Draft 1.0 – Will Anderson, EDGE, Alabama (Chicago Bears)

The Chicago Bears finally held their auction for the No. 1 pick, handing it over to the Carolina Panthers for a bounty including a No. 1 receiver in D.J. Moore and two first-round picks (among other selections).

So which quarterback will the Panthers pick. Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud and Alabama quarterback Bryce Young are the two at the top of the mountain. Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson impressed with his physical skills at the NFL Combine but his subpar passing would make it foolish in the extreme if they pick him over those two.

There’s been reports that owner David Tepper and new head coach Frank Reich are at odds over who to pick with the former favoring Young and the latter favoring Stroud. Tepper is well known as a meddling owner that’s made some deterimental decisions to his franchise, so he very well could pull rank and make sure Young is the pick once again.

This season, Young completed 65 percent of his passes for 3,328 yards, 32 touchdowns and five interceptions while also picking up four touchdowns on the ground as well.

Young measured in shorter than listed at Alabama, coming in at 5-foot-10 1/8 and 204 pounds. He would actually be smaller in all than the comparable Kyler Murray, with the Arizona Cardinals quarterback at the exact same height but weighing 208 pounds when he was drafted in 2019.

Height aside, Young shined at his Pro Day and showed he was capable of making all the throws expected at the NFL level. He may be small, but he’s no shrinking violet.

So if Tepper is going to be making the call, Young is the favorite to step onto the podium first.