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At pre-Pro Day dinner, Scott Fitterer became convinced Bryce Young was the right choice for the Panthers

Panthers G.M. Scott Fitterer joins Mike Florio to provide insight on the strategy with trading up for the No. 1 NFL draft pick, reveal when he knew Bryce Young was their guy and more.

The easy move for the Panthers was to go to No. 1 in the draft. The harder move was picking a quarterback from among the various options.

In a Tuesday interview with #PFTPM, Carolina G.M. Scott Fitterer addressed the manner in which the team decided to make Bryce Young the No. 1 overall pick.

“We went through a really continuous process, and we tried to poke holes,” Fitterer said. “We looked at him from every different angle. We went to our analytics guys, we went to player engagement, went to, like, the psychologist. You look for anything that you might miss just on tape and on evaluation. We have all these fact checks in place.

“Once that person’s able to stand in there and stay at the top of the board the whole time, you know you have your guy. But it was a real process. We really didn’t decide until the Monday prior to the draft. When I went and walked into Frank’s office said, ‘OK, who we taking?’ You know, just kind of a quick question. He said, ‘Bryce.’ I talked to Mr. Tepper about it. I think we were all on board. It was a consensus throughout the organization Bryce was the right guy for us.”

Fitterer was asked whether there was a moment that, for him, Young emerged as the right choice.

“The one thing that stands out is probably at dinner, the night before his Pro Day,” Fitterer said. “We’re sitting in a restaurant, and we’re talking to him. And this is the first time, you know, you’ve interviewed him at the Combine in an 18-minute interview. We’ve talked to him at other places, but this is the time you see him in a social setting, where we’re sitting around a table, and we’re really just getting to know the guy, and he’s holding court. We had a couple-hour dinner with him, and as you’re sitting there at dinner, you’re just looking at this guy, and I’m thinking in my head the whole time, ‘OK, is this the right guy for us? Is this the guy we want kind of being our face? Is he the one we want leading our team in the huddle when it’s the fourth quarter?’ And you have all these questions in your head as you’re sitting at dinner just watching him talk to other people. And that’s kind of the moment that I had personally where I thought, ‘OK, this is the guy. This is the guy that we want leading the team.’”

So how does the manner in which Young handles himself at dinner create confidence that he’s the right guy to lead the team on the field?

“You feel the presence of the player, just like the command that they have,” Fitterer said. “As he’s sitting there at dinner, he was so poised and you’re like, ‘OK, if I put this guy in a huddle,’ if Frank and I saying, ‘This is the guy, we’re putting him in the huddle, game’s on the line.’ Bryce is the guy we want our players looking at, knowing this is the guy that can get it done for us. We can win with this guy. And I think that’s kind of where that social part overlaps in the football side when you get to know the person and not just the player.”

Obviously, the social side means nothing if the physical tools aren’t there. For the Panthers, both sides came together and made Young the right pick.

The full 20-minute interview is attached. There’s plenty of other interesting stuff about the process that saw the Panthers move from No. 9 to No. 1, where they got the player who will wear No. 9 for the Panthers.