Although Young was selected with the top pick in the NFL Draft this year, Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer made it clear this week that he's not just going to be handed the job. During an interview with PFT, Fitterer said that Young would have to earn the starting job and until that happens, Andy Dalton would be the top quarterback on the team's depth chart.
"We went out and signed Andy Dalton for a reason: He played as a rookie, he's got a lot of experience, he understands his role and he can play good football," Fitterer said while also noting that Dalton is the starting QB "Right now."
"If Andy's the guy to start the season, and he's the starter right now heading into the season, then he'll be the guy," Fitterer said. "When Bryce is ready or Matt Corral is ready whoever it may be, that'll be the time they go in. We say it's open competition, but Frank did say, 'Hey, Andy's he's our guy right now. He'll walk into the season as the starter and then as you know, the young guys compete underneath him, then they'll go in when they're ready."
After the draft, Reich made it clear that he wants Young to take things slow. First, Reich wants to see his rookie QB learn the offense, and then once that happens, he'll be happy to give him the starting job if he looks ready.
"He'll have to earn it. Obviously, that's the way it should be," Reich said, via Yahoo. "We'll know when the right time is. He's got enough going on right now. I just want him to come in and learn the offense and not have to worry about stepping into the limelight. Just come in, learn the offense, get to know these guys. When we step out onto the field the first time, he'll be in that No. 2 spot."
Even if Young opens the training camp as the backup, it's unlikely he'll be there long. The past three quarterbacks taken with the first overall pick -- Trevor Lawrence, Joe Burrow and Kyler Murray -- all ended up starting in Week 1. However, if the Panthers do end up going with Dalton for the first week or two, it wouldn't be totally unprecedented. Over the past seven years alone, there have been two No. 1 overall picks who didn't start in Week 1 (Baker Mayfield and Jared Goff).
If you believe the Panthers, they're not going to let Young's draft status pressure them into making him the opening day starter. Instead, the team is going to wait until he looks ready.
"We're going to rely on our coaches — Jim Caldwell, Frank Reich, Thomas Brown — to decide when it's right," Fitterer said. "We don't have a timeline. We're not saying, 'Hey, this guy's gonna start the first game or we're not going to play him at all this year.' When the time is right or we felt like he's got enough of a mastery of the offense where he can go out and operate this and be successful, that's when he'll be out there."
Young was drafted to be the quarterback of the future in Carolina, but that future might not include starting for the team Week 1.