Bryce Young played three years under Nick Saban at the University of Alabama as a quarterback.
In two seasons as a starter, Saban watched the former five-star do incredible things.
Young became the first signal-caller in Crimson Tide history to win the Heisman Memorial Trophy. He accounted for 8,200 passing yards and 79 touchdown passes combined for 2021 and 2022. Young finished his career ranking second all-time for passing yards (8,356), touchdown passes (80), and total touchdowns (87). He guided Alabama to a Southeastern Conference Championship and a berth in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game in 2021. The Tide suffered two losses last year and missed the CFP, but Young led it to an Allstate Sugar Bowl victory over Kansas State. People were going crazy about Young’s physical measurements, leading up to the NFL Scouting Combine. He measured at 5-10 1/8″ and 204 pounds.
NFL Draft pundits were scared off by the measurements, regardless of how well Young performed in team meetings and interviews. Pro scouts saw issues with DeVonta Smith’s size in the 2021 draft process, but he’s becoming one of the best young wide receivers in the league. Saban joined ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith on his “Know Mercy” podcast.
Saban feels Young’s height will not be an issue in the pros.
I met Bryce Young at the Super Bowl…and I couldn’t believe how small he was. I’m concerned about him being able to withstand the NFL.
Nick Saban, however, thinks he will just fine.
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) March 8, 2023
“I think Bryce has played extremely well, and he has no history of being injury-prone,” Saban said. “There’s a lot of folks in the SEC that end up playing in the NFL, and he plays against those guys every week.”
Saban compared Young’s unique skill set to a point guard in basketball.
“He knows where everybody is,” Saban said. “He can extend plays. He creates throwing lanes for himself, which is important for a guy his size. He can make all the throws, he’s smart, and he has a lot of the attributes from a psychological disposition standpoint that are necessary to excel at this position.”
We have seen a lot of prototypical quarterbacks, size-wise, not work in the league. Young showed the world in two years as a starter at Alabama that he can play. He is regarded as the top quarterback and top overall prospect in this draft class.
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