Bryce Young was a highly touted 5-star recruit coming out of high school. The California native elected to play his college ball under Nick Saban at Alabama. After limited action in his freshman year, he became the full-time starter as a sophomore. It was clear from the start that Young was an exceptional talent as he finished 1st in passing yards and passing touchdowns among power-five quarterbacks. Young won the Heisman Trophy that year, becoming the first Crimson Tide quarterback to win the award. He continued his success this past season, throwing for 3325 yards and 32 touchdowns while only being intercepted five times. Young is the current odds-on favorite to go #1 overall, sitting with 2-1 odds on most sportsbooks.
Photo Cred: ESPN
Young has all the intangibles you could wish for in a quarterback. He is a proven leader with a high football IQ. As can be seen by the way Nick Saban and other Alabama players and coaches talk about him. Young has demonstrated the clutch gene. He has an innate ability to lead his team from behind. In the 2021 Iron Bowl against Auburn, Young and the Alabama offense were scoreless through three quarters. Needing a touchdown to force overtime, Young led the Crimson Tide offense down the field, going ninety-seven yards in 1:11 to tie the game and force overtime and win.
Photo Cred: The Boston Globe
Young is instinctive when it comes to avoiding the rush. He plays like he has eyes in the back of his head and displays an elite ability to get the pass off, even under pressure. Poised in the pocket, he knows when to escape and make a play on the run and when to stay put and continue through his progressions. The Alabama quarterback has elite accuracy and makes difficult throws on all three levels. Overall, Bryce Young is extremely talented and mature beyond his years.
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Of course, there are concerns for Bryce Young. If you have been paying any attention to the pre-draft discourse around Young, you are likely aware of concerns regarding his physical makeup. Young is undersized and doesn’t come close to having the prototypical stature you look for in a pro quarterback. Young’s recorded height was 5’10 at the combine. OT would make him the shortest quarterback in the league, tied with Kyler Murray. Murray has been a quality starter in the NFL but has seen a plethora of balls batted at the line, a problem that Young will also face.
As with any undersized quarterback, there are injury concerns: how will Young hold up when all 330 pounds of Aaron Donald sacks him? Skill-wise, there are a few concerns about the Alabama product. Although his arm strength isn’t jaw-dropping, he can still air it. Plenty of quarterbacks have become elite despite average arm strength.
Photo Cred: USA Today
Despite the concerns regarding Young’s height, his skill and maturity outweigh the risks. The Alabama product has drawn comparisons to Russell Wilson, and rightfully so. His creativity and ability to make something out of nothing can’t be taught. Whether he goes first overall or not, Young will go in the top five and make some franchises happy.