INDIANAPOLIS — Alabama quarterback Bryce Young, one of the best players available in the 2023 NFL draft, has told teams during his week at the Scouting Combine that concerns about his height are misplaced.
As of Saturday, Young officially measures 5ft 10 1/8 and weighed 204 pounds, which would make him the lightest Round 1 quarterback since at least 2006 and one of the shortest passers drafted since the AFL-NFL merger in 1967.
Young, who was listed in Alabama at 6 feet, 194 pounds, is the No. 1 pick on ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay and Scouts Inc. and the No. 4 pick on Mel Kiper Jr.’s newest Big Planke.
“I’ve been respectfully that tall my entire life,” Young said. “I know who I am, I know what I can do. For me it’s fair, anyone can speculate, ask me any question, I’ll keep controlling what I can control, keep doing my best. . I’m confident , I know what I can do.”
Kyler Murray, who was selected by the Arizona Cardinals with the #1 overall pick of the 2019 draft, measured 207 pounds on the 5-10 1/8 combine that year. Murray is the shortest first-round signal caller since 1967, and he is the lightest with Johnny Manziel, who was drafted 22nd overall in the 2014 draft. They are the only two quarterbacks drafted in the first round who were under 6 feet tall. Michael Vick, the 2001 draft pick for the Atlanta Falcons, was 6 feet 210 pounds in 2001, while Drew Brees weighed 6 feet 213 pounds in 2001 before being the first pick of the second round by the then-San Diego Chargers.
Young’s physical size hasn’t affected his career with one of college football’s powerhouses at what’s considered the nation’s top conference. Young was a Heisman Trophy winner and 2021 Southeastern Conference Offensive Player of the Year for hitting 79 touchdowns with 12 interceptions in his two seasons as a starter on the Crimson Tide. In his last game — Alabama’s Sugar Bowl win over Kansas State last January — Young threw for 321 yards on five touchdown passes.
Young’s height has become one of the most debated aspects of his NFL potential. Especially after a season where Young missed time last season with a sprained AC joint in his right (throwing) shoulder.
When asked on Friday what he might possibly weigh on Saturday, Young said: “I was in the 200-pound range and that was something that wasn’t too heavy.”
Young said Friday he had already met formally with the Chicago Bears and Houston Texans at the combine. The Bears have the No. 1 pick in the April draft, while the Texans have the No. 2 and No. 12 picks.
Young said he spoke to former Alabama quarterback and current New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones about the preliminary draft process as well as “how to carry yourself.” He said he answered every question the teams asked him as honestly as possible.
“My drive isn’t necessarily to prove anything,” Young said. “For me it’s trying to explain to the coaches and GMs, all the decision makers, all the things that I’m seeing. I want to express myself through how I view the game, my experiences… and also learn.
“…I’m telling my truth,” Young added. “I make sure I explain how I play the game, how I view the game, my process … obviously there’s good stuff on the film, on the board, just about the ball.”