For the upcoming NFL season, at least six teams will likely be starting a quarterback a with very little to zero pro experience. And depending on how the preseason goes, it could be more teams than the current half-dozen.
While North Carolina sports betting sites and apps won't be available until 2024, this data could still help in-state bettors who plan to visit the legal retail sportsbooks, or bettors in other legal states.
Projected starting rookies are Carolina’s Bryce Young, Houston’s C.J. Stroud and Indianapolis’ Anthony Richardson. Three more quarterbacks with exceptionally short resumes are Washington’s Sam Howell, 19 pass attempts in a single winning start; Green Bay’s Jordan Love with 83 pass attempts over two seasons, and Atlanta’s Desmond Ridder with 115 pass attempts over four games in 2022.
Some might suggest San Francisco’s second-year QB Brock Purdy, recovering from elbow surgery, is in such a category. But a seven-game win streak to start his career has made it clear he is a pro-level quarterback.
Of the six quarterbacks with scant experience, arguably the most attention will be on the Panthers’ Young, the first overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft after Carolina traded up to get him.
Young is the third quarterback Carolina has drafted in the first round and the results of that gambit have been mixed. In their inaugural season in 1995, Carolina took Kerry Collins No. 5 overall. Then they took Cam Newton No. 1 overall in 2011. Collins looked like a solid pick at first, but flamed out with the Panthers after three-plus seasons. Newton had a handful of spectacular seasons in Carolina and one Super Bowl appearance, but is out of the league at the moment.
As far as wagering prospects are concerned, oddsmakers are taking a pessimistic stance on the Panthers Playoff Chances for 2023.
Within the NFC South, the Panthers are the consensus pick to finish third among the four rivals in a relatively weak division. Online oddsmakers project Carolina’s win-loss total at a consensus 7.5 wins.
A Trip Down Memory Lane
So, what should fan expectations be for Young? Here’s some history before you bet on the Panthers Super Bowl Odds.
Considering drafts in the Super Bowl era (starting in 1967), the only No. 1 overall quarterbacks in the Hall of Fame are Pittsburgh’s Terry Bradshaw (1970), Denver’s John Elway (1983), Dallas’ Troy Aikman (1989), and Indianapolis-Denver’s Peyton Manning (1998). The New York Giants’ Eli Manning (drafted 2004) won’t be eligible until 2025, but he probably makes it.
The jury is out on other overall No. 1 overall draft quarterbacks, such as Newton and Detroit Lion-L.A. Ram Matt Stafford and a handful of young guns who are still creating their careers. In total, 25 quarterbacks, active and retired, have been the Draft’s overall No. 1 pick.
Only Time Will Tell
Getting back to Carolina’s Young, fans should be aware that even those quarterbacks who turned in Hall of Fame careers usually had a rough beginning.
Bradshaw completed 4-of-16 passes for 70 yards and an interception in his 1970 opener, a loss to Houston. In fact, as a starter in his first two seasons, Bradshaw was 8-13. Of course, he then went on to win four Super Bowls, was the MVP in two of them, and was the league MVP in 1978.
Similarly, Elway, Aikman and Peyton Manning all had rugged debuts. Elway won his first two starts but his stats were miserable, and his rookie season ended with seven TD passes and 14 interceptions. Aikman, surrounded by a rebuilding Cowboys team, went 0-11 as a rookie. With the Colts, Manning went 3-13 as a rookie and threw 28 interceptions.
And then there were the No. 1 overall QBs who are case studies in flat-out draft over-reach: Tim Couch (Browns, 1999), JaMarcus Russell (Raiders 2007) and Sam Bradford (Rams, 2010) are just a few.
The lesson for the Panthers and their fans is, unfortunately, they need to exercise patience with Bryce Young. His first several games or perhaps, even his first season, will not tell the story of who he is or can be as an NFL quarterback. A recent case in point is Jacksonville’s Trevor Lawrence, who was 3-14 in his rookie year in 2021 under embattled coach Urban Meyer, but coaxed his team into the playoffs last season and helped engineer one of the all-time NFL postseason comebacks as the Jaguars rallied from a 27-0 deficit to beat the L.A. Chargers.
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