When former Alabama Heisman quarterback Bryce Young gets to the NFL, he could have either college football’s all-time passing leader or a 3x Pro Bowler backing him up per AL.com’s Mark Inabinett. The teams with the No. 2 pick, the Texans, and the No. 1 pick, the Panthers, signed Case Keenum and Andy Dalton, respectively.
Keenum holds the NCAA FBS record for most career passing touchdowns (155), most career passing yards (19,217), and most career pass completions (1,546) during his six-season career at Houston, one of which was a redshirt season. In 2012, he went undrafted before signing with the Texans and he’d serve as a backup until the 2016 season with the Rams.
Keenum’s career peaked in 2017 when he led the Vikings to the NFC Championship game with a 13-3 regular season record after a game-winning touchdown throw to Stefon Diggs to defeat the Saints 29-24 in the 2018 NFC Divisional Round.
Dalton, meanwhile, went to the Pro Bowl in 2011, 2014, and 2016 during his tenure on the Bengals, who drafted him with the 35th pick of the 2011 NFL draft out of TCU. Cincinnati went to the postseason from 2011-2015 with Dalton under center, but would go 0-5 in those appearances.
Bryce Young Goes No. 1 in CBS Sports Mock Draft
In CBS Sports writer Ryan Wilson’s March 14 mock draft, Young was projected to be taken by the Panthers at the No. 1 pick.
“Young came in at 5-10 1/8 and weighed 204 pounds at the combine and didn’t take part in the drills,” Wilson prefaced before saying, “At the end of the day, it may not matter because if the Panthers consider him QB1 he’s going off the board first. New coach Frank Reich has talked about the importance of size at the position but Young is the most NFL-read quarterback on the board.”
Wilson noted that the Texans have interest in Young as well, but not enough to make the drastic move Carolina made with the Bears.
“Several league sources told us that the Texans were high on Young, but clearly not high enough to pay to move up one spot,” Wilson wrote.
Carolina “Smitten” With Two Quarterbacks
In a March 13 mock draft, Wilson’s CBS Sports’ colleague Kyle Stackpole also projected Young to the Panthers — and he revealed intel about Carolina’s mentality regarding their No. 1 pick.
“Carolina is reportedly smitten with two QBs, with owner David Tepper preferring Bryce Young and new head coach Frank Reich liking C.J. Stroud. Tepper (unsurprisingly) wins that battle, and Carolina takes the small-statured yet ultra-talented Young,” Stackpole wrote.
Stackpole called Ohio State product C.J. Stroud a “consolation prize,” should the Texans — or whoever ends up with the No. 2 pick by the first night of the draft on April 27 — not have the option of drafting Young.
“Even if the Texans want Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud would be more than a fine consolation prize,” Stackpole wrote.
Wilson also used that language when referring to Stroud in relation to Young. “(The Texans) desperately needs a quarterback and Stroud, who some teams are convinced will be in the mix for QB1, is the consolation prize,” Wilson wrote.