Before the Panthers decided on Bryce Young as their quarterback of the future, they spent some time building up the offensive line that will be playing in front of him.
During the 2022 offseason, the Panthers signed center Bradley Bozeman and right guard Austin Corbett as free agents before they drafted left tackle Ickey Ekonwu and left guard Brady Christensen in the first three rounds. Right tackle Taylor Moton has been in town since 2017 and he signed an extension in 2021, so it appears the team was focused on making sure their eventual quarterback would be well protected.
Ekonwu said the offensive line will do “everything we can do to ease” Young’s transition to the professional game and Christensen said he thinks their success will directly contribute to Young thriving early in his career.
“I think it’s a great plan,” Christensen said, via Joseph Person of TheAthletic.com. “As a rookie quarterback, it’s a tough gig. If we can just give him time so he can do his thing, it’s gonna be incredible. . . . I feel like some of those rookie quarterbacks, they’re not in the perfect situation. But I feel like [Young] is coming in and really [has] a lot of talent around him to help him out, so he’s not trying to do it all himself.”
The Panthers say there’s no timeline for making Young the starter, but first overall picks don’t sit for long and having a capable offensive line will make it much easier for the team to let Young learn on the job.