Nick Saban dismisses Bryce Young’s size concerns: He’s done it as well as anybody

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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 “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.

26 responses to “Nick Saban dismisses Bryce Young’s size concerns: He’s done it as well as anybody

  1. Not in the NFL. He doesn’t have to read the defenses at Alabama. Hope he is as great in the NFL but the odds are against him

  2. A lot of smaller players excelled in college but no reason to think he wouldn’t end up like tua

  3. To me, the main concern with his size is that he will most likely be on a terrible team and will probably take a lot of hits. I doubt he will end up like Tua. The question is how his body will hold up week in and week out over the course of the season if he takes a lot of hits.

  4. Nick Saban also benched Hurts in favor of Tua. He knows what it takes to be a successful college quarterback, but that doesn’t always translate to the pro game.

  5. Can you print Jimbo Fisher’s (FSU coach) evaluation of Jameis Winston before he was taken #1 overall. Please. Pretty please.

  6. I like the kid but the NFL is a faster game and he had some time to pass so he didnt have to run a lot. In the NFL the guys chasing him are bigger and tougher as Tua has learned.
    If he has an incredible O line he may be okay if not I dont suspect survival.

  7. 11 games into last NFL season everyone reading this and commenting on this was talking about Tua for MVP. It’s pretty funny how bandwagon jumpers get.
    Now every writer and journalist is down on Tua. When he comes back out in 23 and repeats his performance make sure you all admit you were wrong. It takes a big man to step up and admit you are wrong, question becomes now…are you a big man or not!?!?

  8. Facing college defenses each week, maybe one 300lb D-lineman and maybe one LB faster than you. But in the NFL, all the D-line is over 300 and all the LBs are faster than you. It’s not impossible for a small man to succeed but the odds are stacked against the smaller guys. Good luck young man!!

  9. I’m hoping the kid succeeds in the NFL, and I’m not disagreeing with Saban. But keep in mind, having one of your kids come off the board first is a huge boom for recruiting, and Nick Saban is recruiting 24/7. The high school players that think they have a chance to play in the NFL are definitely watching which schools the top draft picks come from.

  10. It’s not his size. Evaluators have to look at the fact that Bama QBs are throwing to 5 star athletes who end up first round picks in the NFL. The O line is likewise comprised of former 5 star athletes who will end up in the NFL. Bama tends to overwhelm its opponents due to superior talent. I know about Georgia by the way. But in the NFL the defenses are stocked with great athletes too. Not as easy to overwhelm them as it is even in the vaunted SEC.

  11. And this is the same mentality that once stopped black QBs from playing in the league and later, not giving running QBs a fair shot. But look at the league now. How can you even know how he will do when 5’10” QBs rarely get a shot in the NFL? Warren Moon and Doug Flutie were better than many prototypical starting NFL QBs when they were in their prime, but were exiled to the CFL by not getting a fair shot like countless 6’4″ cannon arm NFL QB busts.

  12. I can’t think of any Alabama quarterbacks that have been successful in the NFL (except Namath and Stabler, Hurts transferred to Oklahoma). Buyer beware.

  13. He will be looking at a wall of O-line shoulders on passing downs. Hard pass

  14. He’s Fran Tarkenton. But do you want a QB that wants to create plays or do you want one that will run your offense the way it’s designed?
    I’d want him but I wouldn’t trade up to get him – big difference. Stroud will be drafted #1.

  15. Isn’t this the same guy who told the Dolphins they should pick Dante and Tua? How did that work out?

  16. I feel like a lot of the commenters here haven’t actually *watched* Young play very much.

    Heisman year yes, ‘Bama had dudes at every position; RB (Robinson), WR (Williams, Metchie), ALL of the OL, and he (Young) played mostly from a clean pocket with good looks. But this last year was none of that. The receiving corp was young and inconsistent, there was *no* running game, the O-line was porous, and the D wasn’t that renowned dominant D (i.e. he was forced to win shootouts). Young’s reads, decision-making, delivery/placement, and just field generalship (is that a word?) are the only reason the Tide were even sniffing at the playoffs. He just as IT.

    His play this year (not the Heisman year) is what sold me. Will he pan out? Who knows, that’s the crap-shoot the draft is. But I sure wouldn’t discount him because he’s not the prototypical size.

  17. sucessful sub 6ft QB’s are very rare in NFL. Don’t know why alabama & saban continued to list this guy at 6ft when they knew good & well he was n5ft10in at best. they did him no favors

  18. Saban is the best salesman of this generation. He knows nothing about the nfl though. Maybe one of the worst coaches ever.

  19. Not exactly a ringing endorsement, Saban clearly doesn’t understand what works in the NFL…

  20. The same Nick Saban that sold Tua as the next Drew Breese. To ignore his injury history etc… How did that turn out??

  21. Bryce Young has an elite arm. He will work in the NFL if he can stay healthy. A team is about to get a steal if he falls in the draft.

  22. Too short for the NFL, Baker, Kyler and Russ have proven that the only offense that works for short QB’s is roll-outs and quick passes to numbers (Russ won’t even throw a 5 yard pass to a wide open TE right in front of him when he is in the pocket because he is to worried it might be an int since he can’t see the rest of the middle of the field). It makes it to easy even for average defenses to beat it, it is even worse that the top of the 1st round the teams are really bad which equates to zero ability to block on a pass. Saban is always about getting his players drafted even though a lot of them rode the shirt tails of others because it is the number 1 tool for recruiting “I put players into the NFL.”

  23. Easy to overlook an under-sized man when he is still playing with near-children. Now he’ll be with men who are very large men and he’ll show why he’s a fraud.

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