It will be a major stunner if Bryce Young isn’t the first player taken

Tonight, the Panthers will have their next potential franchise quarterback. Undoubtedly, he will be Alabama quarterback Bryce Young.

After the recent betting-market turmoil regarding a rumor that Kentucky quarterback Will Levis was telling friends and family that he’s been told he’ll be the first overall pick, Young actually became even more of a favorite to go No. 1 to Carolina, moving from -2000 to -2500.

So, yes, it will be Young. Unless the Panthers are deliberately trolling everyone. Their own paying customers included.

If they weren’t taking Young, someone would be credibly reporting that, at worst, the Panthers are undecided. After weeks of momentum pointing to Young, there has been no effort by the Panthers to push back. If they would pivot to anyone else now, it would become the ultimate draft-day switcheroo. And it would catch the team’s fans completely off guard, disrupting well-settled expectations that Young will be the guy.

Thus, barring something completely unexpected and highly unlikely, the pick will be Young.

It’s calculated risk by the Panthers, given that Young defies size prototypes. Plenty of evaluators would never draft him, for that reason only. They like to play the percentages when it comes to height, weight, hand size.

At a time when analytics becomes a talking point for in-game decisions, analytics traditionally have been used when it comes to scouting and grading players. The Young selection, frankly, defies personnel-based analytics.

Whether the risk becomes a reward for Carolina remains to be seen.

It will be a major stunner if Bryce Young isn’t the first player taken originally appeared on Pro Football Talk