Bryce Young 2023 NFL Draft Profile

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Bryce Young Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

The NFL Combine is upon us, and one of the biggest storylines is the weight of former Alabama star quarterback Bryce Young. Young is the best quarterback in this draft class and could be the first overall pick if the Chicago Bears trade the pick to a team in need of a quarterback, but teams will be eager to see how his weigh-in at the combine compares to his listed weight of 194 pounds at 6’0″. What makes him such a special quarterback prospect, and what is his NFL outlook with his size concerns in mind? Let’s dive into the tape!

Strengths: Young is an excellent distributor of the football who successfully and consistently completes a variety of NFL throws. He throws with really good accuracy to every level of the field, especially the short and intermediate ranges. He often delivers with pinpoint ball placement into small throwing windows, including on drive throws across the middle of the field and on jump balls to the boundary, on which only his receivers have a chance at coming down with the football. Young throws with good anticipation and touch. He can layer the ball over defenders properly when needed. He processes the football field really well, showing the ability to go through progressions and being able to pick out the open man even when the pocket collapses. He is a twitchy athlete with great poise and feel in the pocket, showing the ability to navigate it and maneuver around pressure effectively. Young keeps his eyes downfield against pressure and is not afraid to throw through an incoming hit. He is a good decision-maker and rarely puts the ball in harm’s way. Young shows a good ability to pick apart zone defenses, which is a skill that translates well to the next level. He is a plus-athlete who can extend the play by scrambling, either by picking up yardage that is available with his legs or by throwing accurately on the run. In these situations, Young shows the ability to throw from a variety of arm angles and platforms. 

Weaknesses: Though he improved in this area in 2022, Young does occasionally take unnecessary sacks when he escapes the pocket and spends too much time attempting to make a play by evading defenders. While he usually succeeded in doing so at Alabama, this habit will likely yield less success in the NFL against more efficient tacklers. Young shows the ability to go through his progressions but at times locks onto his first read for too long, making it obvious to the opposing defense who his intended target is. Young’s small stature is a concern, both in regards to his durability along with his accuracy suffering when pressured straight-on due to his inconsistency in being able to throw over the incoming defender. 

Bottom Line: Young is a terrific passer, throwing the football with great accuracy and processing. He excels at navigating the pocket and finding the open man when pressured, and can also escape the pocket and make plays outside of structure. When doing so, Young’s play can resemble a bit of backyard football in which he attempts to evade many defenders behind the line of scrimmage after scrambling, which is something he should cut down on in the NFL to limit sack numbers. His lack of size is also a moderate concern with regard to his durability especially. Overall, Young’s skills as a passer, general efficiency when pressured, and ability to shine when the play breaks down make him a likely future franchise quarterback. If he can show that his size does not sacrifice his durability and he corrects a couple of smaller issues, Young can be one of the very best quarterbacks in the NFL.