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Texans score Bryce Young in NFL.com Cynthia Frelund’s mock draft 2.0

With the Carolina Panthers picking atop the 2023 NFL draft, it presents trepidation for Houston Texans fans.

The Panthers need a franchise quarterback the same as Houston. Alabama’s Bryce Young has been linked to the Texans ever since the team was 0-3-1, if not further back into last training camp. To miss out on Young would seem to be yet another example of the Texans missing the mark.

According to Cynthia Frelund for NFL.com, the Texans are able to get Young as the Panthers decide on Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud at No. 1 overall.

Young’s Alabama film rates him the best college QB in this class, per computer vision. There is some extra volatility in projecting him to the next level, though. When his feet are set and he’s on platform, he ranks in the top 15 percent of my 10-season sample — and he can get his feet set under duress. However, he had one of the longest times to throw while not under pressure last season (3.02 seconds, per PFF, ranking T-153rd). When you look into why, you’ll see he dropped back farther on average than the rest of the top passers in this class. Looking at QB comps from past drafts, passers who consistently had deep dropbacks have not fared well at the pro level unless their O-line — specifically the tackles — are able to hold off pressure well and recover when a rusher has a great second (or third) effort. Fortunately for Young, landing in Houston means he’ll have the recently extended Laremy Tunsil protecting him for the foreseeable future.

Essentially if Young is protected, he is phenomenal. However, it takes exemplary tackle play as well, and the Texans should be able to count on that with Tunsil at left tackle and former 2019 first-rounder Tytus Howard at right.

Houston finishes the first round with Clemson defensive end Myles Murphy at No. 12 overall. If the Texans wanted to go with a wideout at No. 33 overall in Round 2 in this mock, they would have Tennessee’s Jalin Hyatt available.

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Story originally appeared on Texans Wire