Former Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has no doubts who his former team should be drafting with the No.1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft on Thursday.
The Panthers will have the pick of the full crop when they get the whole process rolling on Thursday evening. And with Sam Darnold and Baker Mayfield both failing miserably last season, a new franchise signal-caller is poised to hopefully lead the Panthers for years to come.
Newton played 133 games for the Panthers, leading them to a Super Bowl appearance in 2016, and he knows exactly who Carolina need to be turning in that first card for.
"If I'm the GM, if I'm the head coach, if I'm (the team owner), I'm selecting Bryce Young," Newton said on his YouTube channel Wednesday. "And we all know the upside, we all know he went to Alabama, we all know that he has an incredible arm."
Newton himself was selected No. 1 overall by Carolina in 2011, and was their last No. 1 selection.
And while there are plenty of directions the Panthers could go in snagging a quarterback with their pick, Newton thinks Young has the edge over the likes of C.J. Stroud, Anthony Richardson, Will Levis and Hendon Hooker.
During his third and final season at Alabama, the 21-year-old recorded 3,328 yards passing while throwing 32 touchdowns and only five picks.
"This is how I judge quarterbacks as a whole: Everybody can throw," Newton explained. "Everybody has talent. Everybody has upside. Everybody has intangibles, but the thing that everybody doesn't have, and it's simple, is leadership. And you can get a (expletive) to follow you."
But, with a new QB to lead them next season, the Panthers can look to ending a run of five successive campaigns without a play-off appearance.
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