Did Panthers owner David Tepper admit about wanting to draft C.J. Stroud over Bryce Young?

David Tepper reveals the team's initial plan was to draft C.J. Stroud at No. 2 rather than Bryce Young.

Did Panthers owner David Tepper admit about wanting to draft C.J. Stroud over Bryce Young?

David Tepper and Bryce Young (via HoustonChronicle/DraftKings)

The Carolina Panthers‘ decision to pick Bryce Young over C.J. Stroud may not have been with the whole heart of the team’s owner David Tepper. In his most recent press conference, Tepper revealed the team’s plan to trade to the second pick in the NFL Draft because they were convinced that the Houston Texans would pick Bryce Young at No.1. This would lead them to pick C.J. Stroud.

However, the Panthers got the first pick and picked Young.

It's been reported and we've talked about it, recently we were going to get the number 2 pick and we thought we'd get C.J. because we thought the Texans were going to pick Bryce.

That confession alone makes it fairly accurate that David Tepper was not all in on Bryce Young from the start.

He further went on to backtrack on his earlier statement.

We preferred Bryce, he was our number 1 pick, we had a lot of conviction but you know...it's just not the way the process was done. The process was done the way the process was done.

Tepper went on to elaborate on how he possesses the veto power. In any case, if the rest of the front office and coaching staff want to draft a player but the owner disagrees with that choice, he can veto their choice and make the final call instead.


David Tepper revealed the Panthers’ intention to draft C.J. Stroud at No.2

The owner further went on to add,

I always could veto that choice, even if it was Bryce and if the votes came in unanimously in this particular case, I could have vetoed that choice. In both cases, I supported both choices, I supported the coaches, I supported the scouts, their unanimous opinion and Frank Reich.

David Tepper indirectly signified that he had the option to veto the team’s decision to trade for Bryce Young, but he did not exercise that power.

David Tepper and Bryce Young.
David Tepper and Bryce Young (via WQKRN/AP)

He did say that he had faith in his scouts and head coaches, but the tone in which he said it was not the most convincing. Tepper does take accountability for the decision made by the team.

Whatever is good, bad, or different is because ultimately, the buck stops here and I take full responsibility and the process stops here.

That is commendable that he did not pawn the blame off on former HC Frank Reich. He ensured to make it known that he is accountable for this decision and is not deflecting blame.

David Tepper made it clear toward the end, the team does not regret drafting Bryce Young.

We are totally confident in that pick....for me, I'm totally confident and agreeing with that pick.

While the owner confessed that he has no regrets about having picked Young, it does sound hard to believe, especially when in the earlier part of the interview, he confessed that the team’s initial plan was to head in the direction of C.J. Stroud.


This could not have come at a worse time, as Stroud is making Young look like a bust so far this season. He has thrown for 1,877 yards, 9 TDs, and 8 INTs. His QBR is ranked 29th in the NFL.

Stroud, on the other hand, has thrown for 3,266 yards, 19 TDs, and 5 INTs, and has the 8th-best QBR in the league. The Panthers recently fired HC Frank Reich after a disappointing 1-10 start to the season and his failure to make the most out of the first pick of the draft.

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