David Tepper may be having drafter's remorse. The owner of the Carolina Panthers took Bryce Young out of Alabama with the first overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. They came into the draft looking to trade up to hopefully draft a quarterback and apparently they were having discussions with teams about moving up. Specifically the Chicago Bears.
Tepper let slip that the trade with the Bears that saw the Panthers leap up in the draft in exchange for a bunch of picks and star receiver D.J. Moore, was apparently in talks long before the March trade actually going through. So much so that when they were talking to the Bears, the Chicago-based franchise still had the second pick overall, behind the Houston Texans. Then the Texans win their last game of the year, flip spots with the Bears and the Panthers go on to make the trade that eventually land them Young.
But, according to Tepper, the idea wasn't to land Young, as they would eventually do, but land current Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud. Stroud is destroying the league and is the front-runner to win the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year Award, and hearing Tepper say they were ready to draft him at No. 2 had the Texans landed the No. 1 spot and drafted Young is hilarious.
Young has struggled this year, and his former coach, Frank Reich took most of the blame and was fired for it. And while some are now thinking the situations would've been switched had the Panthers landed Stroud over Young, it's important to realize that Stroud isn't achieving this succses on his own.
Fellow rookie (head coach) DeMeco Ryans is a huge part of Stroud's success, as is the likes of Tank Dell and various other personel that the Texans have that the Panthers don't. While Stroud is the better prospect today, he's galvinized by the support he has in Houston. Guys that don't exist in the Panther's situation. Young can still turn things around, but it's not hard to see that the Texans had a better setup for a quarterback to succeed in than anyone realized heading into the season.