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Road to the Draft: Bryce Young's body of work speaks for itself


Bryce Young seems to be the most decorated college quarterback coming out in this year's draft.

Any accomplishment you could ask for from a quarterback, he has achieved it. Heisman Trophy winner, All-American, First-Team All-SEC, AP College Football Player of the Year, Davey O'Brien Award, National Champion.

Been there, done that.

The Pasadena, California, native has put himself in a position to make himself the first quarterback taken in the 2023 NFL Draft. There's a lot to marvel at with Young's game. He has an incredibly high football IQ, good pocket presence, makes quick decisions and puts touch on his throws with a calm demeanor even in tough situations.

But above all else, he's a winner. In his two seasons as the Crimson Tide's starting quarterback, he led them to a 23-4 record while throwing for 8,200 yards and a 79:12 touchdown to interception ratio.

"I feel like I'm someone who pushes myself and prides myself in my preparation, my processing and leading a team on offense," Young said Friday at the NFL Combine. "For me, I make sure I do whatever I feel like is best for the team. I try to make efficient decisions. After every time, whether it's run or pass, trying to make sure I'm playing the most efficiently for the benefit of the team."

The only real question of concern people have about Young is his size. Hovering around 6-foot, 194 pounds, according to Alabama's website, he's not necessarily considered the "prototypical" size of an NFL quarterback. Nevertheless, in an evolving NFL, smaller quarterbacks have been able to make a big impact for their team – Drew Brees, Kyler Murray, Russell Wilson and Michael Vick, to name a few.

Young advises teams pay less attention to his height, and simply watch his college film.

"I've been this size, respectfully, my whole life," he said. "I know who I am, I know what I can do. For me, it's fair. Everyone can speculate and ask whatever questions are necessary. But I'm going to continue to control what I can control. I'll keep working my hardest to put myself in good positioning. I have confidence in myself, I know what I can do. I'm just excited to get to that next level."

At the Combine, Raiders Head Coach Josh McDaniels was asked how Young's size could potentially be a deterring factor for teams in their evaluation. McDaniels came to the aid of Young, as someone who's impressed with the quarterback's skillset.

"The only thing I would say about that is if the durability part of it was a big concern. And so far with Bryce, it has not been," said McDaniels. "There's different ways to throw. So, if you lack height, you have to find some windows sometimes. And, really, it's about their ability to see through the rush into the defense and read the coverage properly.

"I'm not sure anybody's done it better than Bryce here for a while in college football. Height is not a prerequisite. ... To me, when you're watching the tape, if the height doesn't impact his ability to find open receivers, throw the ball well and accurately, and his body size hasn't been a problem relative to overall durability, then I think you've just got to evaluate the player."

Young believes he's done a good job of not allowing distractions bother him throughout the draft process. He's stayed away from social media as much as possible, with a lot of time spent on training to get his body prepared for the NFL.

"I respect everyone's opinion, but I focus on what I can control," said Young. "I take the advice and the direction of the people that I trust in my corner, and the people at the next level. That's what I try and focus on."

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