As the NFL world descends on Indianapolis for the 2023 scouting combine, many eyes will be on Bryce Young.
The 2021 Heisman Trophy winner is currently the shortest odds to become the first overall pick in the NFL Draft at FOX Bet. His actual height and build may be the biggest obstacle to him being the No. 1 pick.
On the eve of the combine, Young would have measured 5-foot-10 1/2. So while the Alabama sensation had the most illustrious college career of any prospect available, questions remain about whether he can succeed in the NFL because of his size.
Colin Cowherd himself is skeptical and touched on the topic during Monday’s edition of “The Herd” along with special guest and 2023 Pro Football Hall of Famer Joe Thomas.
“It’s absolutely a problem,” Cowherd said.
One comparison Cowherd drew was to former No. 1 pick Baker Mayfield, who measured under 6-foot-1 at the combine. Mayfield, of course, also won the Heisman while at Oklahoma before the Browns made him the top pick in the 2018 draft. Since then, he’s had mixed results in the NFL and will likely play for his fourth team after splitting the 2022 campaign with the Panthers and Rams.
“Baker is an NFL quarterback [but] he’s a little undersized, an okay arm, he wasn’t a great athlete, he’s not a No. 1 overall pick,” Cowherd said.
Why Bryce Young’s height could be a problem in the NFL
Russell Wilson and Kyler Murray remain the most notable recent examples of quarterbacks who have flourished despite being under six feet tall. But both are noticeably bulkier than Young, who also weighs less than 200 pounds. Therefore, Thomas expressed concern about how long Young will be at the professional level given how his smaller frame will force him to play.
“I think you’re right to be concerned,” Thomas said. “When you’re a short quarterback, it’s hard to see the middle of the field because your offensive linemen are so much taller than you. Or you have to be really good, like Drew Brees was, to be able to drop the ball to a little guy garbage can in the middle of the field, predicting where your receivers are going to be because you can’t see them and you go by instinct and you go outside of what you’ve practiced, or you have to. be able to get out of the pocket. The problem is that when you’re a light quarterback like Bryce Young is, when you get out of the pocket, eventually you’re going to get hit.
“When you’re building an offense around a quarterback that’s a little bit smaller, yeah, he’s a good athlete and he’s probably going to show some of that athleticism within that offense, but if he’s not. [healthy], then what do you do? Just think about playing a quarterback who won’t be available for 60 percent of the games a year, half the games? I think that’s definitely a concern. If you’re taking a flier with a third- or fourth-round guy, that’s one thing. But when you’re going to make him in the top five, you have to have a high degree of certainty that he’s going to be available and that he’s going to have a high ceiling for what you want to build an offense around.”
The Bears will weigh those factors as they hold the No. 1 pick. With Justin Fields already in the fold, they are said to be leaning toward trading up the pick and continuing to develop their dual-threat starter.
young man reportedly won’t launch the combo but he will still meet with several teams. The Colts, who have the No. 4 overall pick, have already made their interest in him public. With several teams looking for a solution at QB, prospects CJ Stroud, Anthony Richardson and Will Levis are also expected to come off the board in the first round.
Alabama QB Bryce Young will not throw at the 2023 NFL Combine
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