In a surprising turn of events, Carolina Panthers head coach Frank Reich praised No. 1 overall pick Bryce Young on his first day of rookie mini-camp. Reich was impressed with Young’s sharp mindset and excellent throws, indicating that the rookie quarterback may be the future face of the franchise.

Carolina has struggled at the quarterback position for several years, rotating through eight different starters since 2018. While the Panthers signed free-agent QB Andy Dalton to a two-year deal in free agency and named him the current starter, the team clearly sees potential in Young.

Carolina Panthers quarterback Bryce Young Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

The Panthers traded two first-round picks and more to acquire the No. 1 pick from Chicago and select Young.

Young’s potential was evident during his time at the University of Alabama, where he threw for 80 touchdowns in three seasons and became the fourth player in program history to win the Heisman Trophy in 2021.

Frank Reich -USA TODAY

Reich is known for maximizing quarterbacks, having served as Eagles OC in 2017 when Carson Wentz threw a career-high 33 touchdowns and finished third in MVP voting. When Reich was the HC for the Colts, former QB Andrew Luck won 2018 Comeback Player of the Year and threw 39 touchdowns.

The Panthers’ decision to draft Young with the top pick indicates that they are banking on him to become the face of the franchise. And if Young’s first day at rookie mini-camp is any indication, he has the potential to deliver on that promise. Perhaps, under Reich’s guidance, Young will be the quarterback that finally turns the Panthers’ fortunes around.