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Bryce Young a cautionary tale for what Rams do with 2024 first-round pick

Young has struggled mightily in Carolina after being selected first overall in this year’s draft

Carolina Panthers v Chicago Bears Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

While I don’t want to dump on the poor kid, Panthers quarterback Bryce Young should serve as a cautionary tale for the Los Angeles Rams. Meaning, LA should think twice before considering a quarterback with their first-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Young has not fared well in the NFL since being taken first overall in this year’s draft. Young’s performance on Thursday Night Football against the Chicago Bears broadcasted the Alabama product’s struggles to a national audience. Carolina gave up a ton of draft capital for the opportunity to select Young with the top pick.

The former Crimson Tide star has a 1-7 record through eight games as a starter. He only has one quality start which came in the Panthers’ lone win over the Texans in Week 8. Young has thrown multiple touchdown passes in only one start against the Lions. Two of those touchdowns though came in garbage time where the Panthers would go on to lose 42-24. Needless to say, the first-rounder hasn’t played well enough to justify the price Carolina paid to acquire him.

His struggles look even worse with C.J. Stroud emerging as the favorite to win Offensive Rookie of the Year. However, as poorly as Young is playing, giving him the “bust” label is premature. Young was drafted to a team with a sorry group of pass catchers and a terrible O-line to match. Carolina set the youngster up to fail.

According to Tankathon, the Rams hold the sixth overall pick heading into their Week 10 bye. With any selection, the draft is a crapshoot. Predicting success at the most valuable position in football is even harder to figure out. Recent drafts serves as proof for how difficult the evaluation process is.

The 2021 first-round QB class outside of Trevor Lawrence is a really good example:

Zach Wilson is clearly no Aaron Rodgers and no intake of ayahuasca will ever change that. Lance made only four starts before injuries derailed his career and he was traded to the Cowboys. The jury is out on Justin Fields while Mac Jones was not the right successor to Tom Brady.

Again, this is what the NFL Draft is, particularly at the quarterback position. Ideal team fits on paper doesn’t always translate to the field. For every Josh Allen or Lamar Jackson, you get Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen. I believe everyone remembers the great Chicago whiff of 2017:

Back in April, I said Marvin Harrison Jr. would be a dream Rams draft pick next year. I don’t see LA being in a prime position to draft MHJ but my thought process remains the same. The NFL Draft is about risk and taking chances. Is it better to go QB just in case LA can’t milk another season out of Matthew Stafford? Or is drafting an explosive playmaker or a position of need the direction Los Angeles should go instead?

Doesn’t the front office remember what happened the last time they selected a quarterback in the first round? Jared Goff is a quality NFL starter but he’s nowhere near the game changer LA expected him to be.

In next year’s draft, first-round QB prospects include Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, J.J. McCarthy, Jayden Daniels, Bo Nix and Michael Penix Jr. One or more of those players will be a definite bust. As with anything in life, nothing is guaranteed and even a can’t miss prospect like Williams has red flags. Will LA resist the temptation or will they fall under their spell in hopes of accelerating their rebuild?

It’ll ultimately be up to LA’s front office to decide what direction they wish to take the organization. Rams faithful had better hope they choose wisely this time around.