“It’s surreal. It’s a dream come true,” Young told the ESPN broadcast. “It’s an amazing moment and I’m going to try to live in the moment. I can’t wait to get to work and start building on it.”
The California native was graded as the NFL’s fourth-highest overall player and highest-rated quarterback in the draft, drawing comparisons to future Hall of Famer Drew Brees.
NFL analyst Lance Zierlein describes Young as a full-field reader whose confident demeanor on the field comes off the tape but never turns into unbridled bravado.
This past season, Young threw for 3,328 yards and 32 touchdowns, becoming the only quarterback in Alabama history to throw for 3,000-plus yards in two different seasons.
In March, the Panthers traded highly regarded wide receiver DJ Moore and four draft picks and future draft picks to the Chicago Bears for the No. 1 pick in this year’s event.
Young, 21, became the first Crimson Tide player to go first overall in the modern NFL Draft era.
With the second pick, the Houston Texans selected Ohio State University quarterback CJ Stroud.
Straut entered the draft after two successful years for the Buckeyes.
Zierlein says the 21-year-old’s “accuracy stands out on tape.” “He can lead receivers with good space and make on-frame throws to targets in all areas of the field.”
“I’m bringing in a leader. I’m bringing in someone who goes to work every day and wags their tail,” Straud said on the ESPN broadcast of what he offers the Texans. “Someone who comes from a winning tradition. Someone who wants to win — that’s what concerns me. So I’m going to be a better teammate, a better leader, a better quarterback.”
The The Texans then traded for the third pick And Young’s teammate, linebacker Will Anderson Jr., a two-time winner of the nation’s top college defensive player award by the Football Writers Association of America and the Charlotte Touchdown Club.
“Not everyone knows how hard work it is, man,” he told ESPN. “The sacrifices I’ve made, the hard work, the dedication. Everything that goes into it. They see what happens on Saturday, but the process, I’m very blessed.”
No. 4 — Indianapolis Colts: University of Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson
No. 5 — Seattle Seahawks: University of Illinois cornerback Devon Witherspoon
No. 6 — Arizona Cardinals: Ohio State offensive tackle Paris Johnson Jr.
No. 7 — Las Vegas Raiders: Texas Tech University linebacker Tyree Wilson
No. 8 — Atlanta Falcons: University of Texas running back Bijaon Robinson
With the ninth pick, the Philadelphia Eagles selected University of Georgia defensive lineman Jalen Carter, whose draft stock was in question. He was sentenced to 12 months probation In March, for his role in a January crash that killed a teammate and a team employee.
Carter’s college teammate Devin Willock and football team member Chandler LeCroy were killed in the Jan. 15 crash, hours after the team participated in a parade on campus to celebrate its second consecutive national title. Two other occupants of the Ford SUV were injured.
LeCroy was driving near campus with Willock and two other members of the football program, police said. Athens-Clarke County police said the SUV was traveling “about 104 miles per hour” when it left the road and struck two utility poles and several trees.
Authorities said Carter was driving a separate vehicle and that he and LeCroy were racing.
The Bears traded University of Tennessee offensive lineman Darnell Wright at No. 10 in exchange for the pick they received from the Eagles.
The first round continues until 32 selections are made.
Rounds 2 and 3 of the draft will be held on Friday, with rounds 4-7 on Saturday.
CNN’s Ben Morse contributed to this report.