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Bryce Young

Nick Saban hopes Bryce Young is first pick of NFL Draft after Pro Day, compares him to Drew Brees

Alabama QB Bryce Young (#9) directs wide receivers downfield against Mississippi State
Photo comes via SEC Media Portal

Bryce Young turned in a very successful Pro Day at Alabama that included precision passes, interviews with media outlets, and signing autographs.

He gives the Carolina Panthers a huge decision between him and C.J. Stroud of Ohio State for the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. Nick Saban watched Young frustrate defensive players and coaches in the best conference in college football in two seasons. The California native became the first quarterback in Crimson Tide history to win the Heisman Memorial Trophy, capturing the honor as a sophomore in 2021. People made jokes about his size, 5-10 and 204 pounds, but none could stop him on the field. He set the school’s single-season record for passing yards (4,872), passing touchdowns (47), and total touchdowns (50) in 2021. Young ranks second all-time in school history for career passing yards (8,356) touchdown passes (80), and total touchdowns (87). After Thursday, Saban hopes Young is the first pick of the draft.

RELATED: Bryce Young wore Jordan 1 Low cleats for his Alabama Pro Day

“Bryce is somebody that a lot of people are interested in,” Saban said. “Hopefully, he will be the first pick in the draft. Nobody knows that for sure, but I don’t think anyone disagrees that he’s one of the most outstanding players in this draft. We are certainly hopeful that he is the first pick, and we think he’s the best player in the draft.”

Saban said Young’s biggest selling points to a team are his consistency, production, instincts at the position, the type of person he is, and his preparation. Saban said the lone negative people can bring up about Young is his height, but the seven-time national champion compared Young to Drew Brees. Brees played against Saban at Purdue while he coached at Michigan State. Saban wanted Brees for the Miami Dolphins in the NFL, but he ended up in New Orleans — helping the Saints win a Super Bowl in 2009.

“Drew Brees has always been the biggest nemesis Nick Saban has ever had,” Saban said.

“Whether he was at Purdue or in the NFL, and he was 5-foot-11. I don’t think height is an issue. It was not an issue in his college career, and he is going to play against some of the same players in that league as he played against in the SEC. We think he’s fantastic, and we hope he has a great career.”

Saban has yet to produce the No. 1 overall pick in the common draft era. Young looks to be the first one next month.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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