Why Panthers QB Bryce Young Could Take a Major Leap In 2024

Bryce Young, Panthers
NFL Analysis Network

Carolina Panthers quarterback Bryce Young did not exactly have a great rookie campaign, especially for a No. 1 overall pick.

What made things even worse for Young was that C.J. Stroud, who went No. 2 to the Houston Texans, had a historically terrific debut season.

But there is still hope for Young.

Douglas Clawson of CBS Sports thinks Young is a prime candidate to take a big leap in Year 2, much like many of the young quarterbacks before him.

Clawson mentions Patrick Mahomes, Carson Wentz, Lamar Jackson, Joe Burrow and Brock Purdy as recent signal-callers who demonstrated massive improvement in their respective sophomore seasons and were actually MVP contenders in those years.

Of course, some context is needed here.

Mahomes didn’t even play in his rookie campaign, Jackson became the starting quarterback midway through his first season, Burrow suffered a season-ending knee injury during his rookie year and Purdy was thrust into the starting role late in 2022 after injuries to Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo.

Meanwhile, Young was the Panthers’ starter all the way through in 2023.

But Clawson does make some notable points.

How could Bryce Young break out in 2024?

Perhaps a better recent example of a quarterback who took the next step in Year 2 is Trevor Lawrence, who threw 25 touchdowns and just eight interceptions for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2022 after leading the NFL with 17 picks during his rookie campaign.

Clawson names Lawrence as a reference for Young and even mentions Troy Aikman, Peyton Manning and Jared Goff as other names for Young to look toward as quarterbacks who took a leap from Year 1 to Year 2.

Clawson also notes that Carolina brought in Dave Canales to be its new head coach. Canales did phenomenal work with Geno Smith in Seattle and revitalized Baker Mayfield’s career in Tampa Bay, so he may be something of a quarterback whisperer. Perhaps he can extract the best out of Young.

Plus, Young has many more weapons this season than he had a year ago.

In 2023, Young had Adam Thielen and not a whole lot else at his disposal in the aerial attack. The good news is that the Panthers swung a trade for Diontae Johnson earlier this offseason and also took Xavier Legette in the first round of the NFL Draft. There is also a chance that second-year wide out Jonathan Mingo takes a step forward for Carolina.

While Young doesn’t exactly have an embarrassment of riches to throw to, it is certainly a better situation than he walked into last season.

Clawson cites the Panthers’ improved offensive line and an easy schedule as other reasons for why Young could have an impressive year in 2024.

Let’s see if Bryce Young can take advantage of all of these factors come September.

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