Alabama quarterback Bryce Young measured 5 foot 10 and weighed 204 pounds at the NFL Scouting Combine. After Anthony Richardson’s performance in the measurables, Young now has the second-shortest odds to be taken No. 1 overall.
Alabama coach Nick Saban didn’t name the former Florida quarterback when talking about Young, but it seems obvious that was his comparison.
“We’ve all seen the 6-4, 225-pound guy that can throw it like a bazooka, but he can’t make the choices and decisions; he can’t distribute the ball; he can’t throw it accurately,” Saban said on Stephen A. Smith’s Know Mercy podcast, via Mike Rodak of al.com. “So who’s the better bet? I’m going on history, production, performance, and Bryce Young’s done it about as well as anybody.”
Young will become one of the shortest and lightest quarterbacks ever drafted in the first round. But he missed only one game in his two years as a starter, sitting out a game against Texas A&M in 2022 with a sprained throwing shoulder.
“I think history is the best indicator of what the future is going to bring,” Saban said. “Bryce is not ideal height that NFL folks would like to see for that particular position, quarterback. But I think Bryce has played extremely well. He has no history of being injury-prone.
“Because the SEC — there’s a lot of folks in the SEC that end up playing in the NFL — and he plays against those guys every week. He’s never had a problem with injuries.”
Young went 23-4 as a starter with 8,356 passing yards, 80 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Young’s production and durability in college leads Saban to believe that his game will translate well to the NFL.
“The only [injury] that he had a problem with was self-inflicted, because when he was throwing the ball away at the last minute,” Saban said. “He’s diving on the ground. He’s already sacked. He should just go down, and now he pulls his shoulder up. But I don’t think it’s an issue. I think you have to look at each individual player. This guy plays quarterback like a point guard in basketball. He’s got eyes all over. He knows where everybody is. 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.
“So he has a lot of the attributes from a psychological disposition standpoint that are necessary to excel at this position.”
Young will get his chance to show off for NFL scouts on March 23 at Alabama’s Pro Day. He did not participate in any on-field work at the combine.