Alabama's Bryce Young is back to being the top quarterback in the 2023 NFL draft class, according to ESPN's Todd McShay.
The draft guru moved Young up to No. 2 on his latest big board, putting him one slot ahead of Ohio State's C.J. Stroud.
"While he is a pocket passer first, he has the mobility to generate more production with his feet—and his ability to extend plays and create is the biggest reason he has jumped ahead of C.J. Stroud this season," McShay wrote.
Young has thrown for 2,443 yards and 23 touchdowns against four interceptions this season for the 8-2 Crimson Tide. A sprained AC joint in Young's shoulder caused him to miss nearly two full games and took him out of contention to repeat as the Heisman winner.
Much of the concern surrounding Young deals with his less-than-ideal size. He's listed at 6'0" and 194 pounds, leading to skepticism about whether his frame can hold up to the rigors of an NFL schedule, particularly given his propensity to use his legs. The success of shorter quarterbacks like Kyler Murray and Russell Wilson has quelled some concerns around the league, and the increased use of the shotgun helps a player of Young's size see over the line.
That said, it's fair to point out most successful NFL quarterbacks have a little extra heft to their frame—even Murray's over 200 pounds at 5'10". Still, Young's ability to make plays outside the pocket and ability to hit any throw on the field make him a can't-miss prospect otherwise.
Stroud has the prototypical size teams look for and has been arguably college football's best pure passer, but he's a non-elite athlete and has to contend with ongoing stigma regarding Ohio State quarterbacks. Justin Fields and Dwayne Haskins struggled as passers after being first-round picks in recent years, which will undoubtedly have some impact on the way Stroud is viewed—even if that's not fair to him.
Regardless, it'll be a shock if both Young and Stroud aren't top-five picks in next April's draft.