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Bryce Young NFL Draft 2023: Scouting Report for Alabama QB

BR NFL Scouting DepartmentContributor I

TUSCALOOSA, AL - OCTOBER 22: Bryce Young #9 of the Alabama Crimson Tide directs receivers during the second half against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 22, 2022 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Brandon Sumrall/Getty Images)
Brandon Sumrall/Getty Images

HEIGHT: 6'0"

HAND: 194

ARM: TBD

WINGSPAN: TBD


40-YARD DASH: TBD

3-CONE: TBD

SHUTTLE: TBD

VERTICAL: TBD

BROAD: TBD


POSITIVES

— Above-average athleticism and explosiveness. Twitchy yet smooth in the pocket. Dangerous scrambler.

— Flexible mechanics. Finds ways to get the ball out comfortably no matter the angle.

— Good accuracy, especially in rhythm. Leads receivers well. Flashes ability to throw away from coverage and defenders.

— Fearless under pressure despite his size. Doesn't panic and is willing to take a hit.

— Above-average decision-maker. Doesn't force the ball and generally does well to play on time.

— Electric playmaker and creative mind. Excels outside the pocket and in finding unique angles to finish plays.


NEGATIVES

— Weight concerns. Would be the first first-round quarterback under 200 pounds since Jim McMahon in 1982.

— Height is a problem. Sometimes struggles throwing in crowded pockets.

— Processing became inconsistent in 2022. Took a slight step back and forced some passes this season.

— Can be a straight-line thrower. Lacks touch in certain instances.

— Arm strength is not bad, but more would help ease size concerns.


NOTES

— Suffered an AC joint injury in his throwing (right) shoulder against Arkansas on Oct. 1

— 2021 consensus first-team All-American

— 2021 Heisman Trophy winner


OVERALL

Bryce Young's profile shows a struggle between skill set and physical capabilities.

The optimist's view is that Young is the best quarterback in the class. He is a sharp processor, though slightly less so in 2022 than in 2021, and understands how to play within the rhythm of a concept. He has a great understanding of which throws aren't open and how to avoid forcing the ball.

That skill bleeds into his ability as a playmaker. Once Young decides a play is broken, either because of pressure or sticky coverage, he is quick to find an answer. Sometimes that is a timely checkdown, but more frequently it means a play outside the pocket, where his blend of athleticism, creativity and flexible mechanics creates magic.

Young is also accurate to all three levels. Some throws that require more arc, like deep corner routes, can be troublesome, but Young can generally get the ball where he wants it.

On the other hand, quarterbacks of Young's frame don't exist in the NFL. Not only is Young on the shorter side, which inhibits his ability to throw over defenders when they crowd him, but he is also a major outlier in terms of weight. Young would be the first quarterback who weighs less than 200 pounds to be picked in the top 100 since Pat White in 2007.

Moreover, no quarterback under 200 pounds in the combine era (since 1999) has done anything of note besides Seneca Wallace, a fine career backup. Those size issues are worrisome as is, but it is especially so considering Young has no elite physical tools to help overcome them.

Kyler Murray, for example, had similar concerns, but he had a much stronger arm and better athletic ability. Add those size issues to Young's decline in processing in 2022—partly a result of injury and Alabama's poor offensive line—and his profile becomes risky.

Young is an excellent college player who needs to climb over a number of obstacles to work in the NFL. He may very well do it—he has the accuracy, playmaking creativity and baseline processing skills—but he is a major size outlier with good-not-great physical tools. Young would have a better chance to overcome those obstacles on a team with a good offensive line that can give him space and safety.


GRADE: 8.2 (Year 1 Starter/Late Round 1, Round 2)

OVERALL RANK: 8

POSITION RANK: QB1

PRO COMPARISON: Downscaled Tony Romo


Written by B/R NFL Scout Derrik Klassen