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Bryce Young's disastrous rookie season isn't unsalvageable, but it's going to take a lot of work

2T8EM1X Charlotte, United States. 19th Nov, 2023. November 19, 2023: Carolina Panthers quarterback Bryce Young (9) drops to throw during the fourth quarter against the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL matchup in Charlotte, NC. (Scott Kinser/Cal Sport Media/Sipa USA) (Credit Image: © Scott Kinser/Cal Sport Media/Sipa USA) Credit: Sipa US/Alamy Live News

Things have gone so badly for No. 1 overall pick Bryce Young in Carolina that, after just 11 games, head coach Frank Reich's title is now preceded by “former.”

With fellow rookie C.J. Stroud already looking like a star in Houston, Young’s struggles have only been magnified. But is it time to panic about his long-term future, or could his fortunes be turned around by the next hire owner David Tepper makes?

Rookie QBs | 2023
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There’s no way to put a positive spin on Young’s NFL career thus far. Sometimes, the numbers or the eye test don’t paint an accurate picture of what’s actually going on with an individual’s performance, but everything is aligned when it comes to Young’s start: It’s been awful.

Acting like there is any reason for optimism at all so far would be trying to put lipstick on a pig or generate false positivity. Any reason for hope when it comes to Young’s NFL future lies not in anything he has done so far but in other players who have reversed their fortunes from his position.

That’s not to say it’s particularly likely; most quarterbacks who started as badly as he has remain bad quarterbacks in the NFL.

Young’s overall PFF grade sits at 49.2 through Week 12, which makes him the meat in a Josh Rosen-Paxton Lynch sandwich in terms of PFF rookie quarterback grades since 2006, trailing players such as DeShone Kizer and Brandon Weeden. But it’s also better than Matthew Stafford‘s 2009 campaign.

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Advanced statistical measures aren’t much kinder to Young, and in some cases are even worse, but there’s typically always a player who represents redemption in any data set. Young's 2.4% big-time throw rate is the same as E.J. Manuel and Blake Bortles during their rookie years. It ranks 72nd out of 85 qualifiers since 2006, but it’s also one-tenth of a percentage point better than Tua Tagovailoa.

Young's 5.2 yards per attempt places 80th since 2006, but Jared Goff and Derek Carr managed just 5.3 and Trevor Lawrence was at 5.8.


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