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Will Bryce Young be able to survive his rookie season?

The NFL just wrapped up their first week of preseason play, and there were certainly storylines throughout the league which have been worth following. Some are talking about the San Francisco 49ers quarterback situation, others are talking about new running back additions to AFC contenders, and others are talking about rookie quarterbacks.

Speaking of rookie quarterbacks, one player who made his debut this past weekend was first overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft Bryce Young for the Carolina Panthers. If you didn’t watch the game you would think Young had a decent start to his professional career.

Just look at his stat line in one drive: 4/6, 21 yards, 3.5 average, 0 TD, 0 INT, 1 sack, 72.2 Rating

That stat line isn’t anything to write home about, but the fact it was such a small sample size fans who didn’t watch the game might just assume it was Young getting acclimated to life in the NFL. For fans who did watch Young in his first live game action, you have to wonder if he will be able to survive his rookie season.

Young, in only 6 drop backs, was hit early and often, to the point where his diminutive size certainly was on display. Just take a look at some of these hits:

To Young’s credit, he got up and didn’t seem bothered by the contact. It isn’t his first time playing the game of football, and after the game Young said all the right things, but fans and media took notice of the protection given to Young, or lack thereof.

As a quarterback being thrust into the starting role, you can have all the talent in the world, but without having anyone blocking up front it won’t matter. There is a laundry list of talented quarterbacks who failed for two reasons:

  • They were thrust into the starting role too early.
  • Didn’t have the offensive line to protect them.

Just ask Sam Darnold what happens when you are constantly running for your life behind a patchwork line. You start “seeing ghosts”. To be fair to Young and the Panthers’ offensive line, this was their first time in a preseason game. Maybe Week 1 was nothing more than an aberration, or maybe it’s the start of a trend. I guess we’ll find out more when the Panthers take the field in Week 2, but for Young’s health the hope is the hits he took in Week 1 were just a blip on the radar.

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