Yes, Bryce Young's Height Is a Concern
Alabama quarterback Bryce Young currently tops a ton of 2023 NFL mock drafts, thanks largely to the fact that he dominated college football the past two seasons. But there are red flags with the 2021 Heisman Trophy winner, most notably his size. Todd McShay raised concerns about Young's height on Monday and, frankly, he has a point.
McShay said he believed Young would measure in at 5-foot-10.5 at the combine and weigh in under 200 pounds. Here's what the ESPN draft expert said about Young's size:
"I love Bryce Young, I really do. I know he’s 195 pounds. A really good friend of mine who’s a scout had him at 5-10.5. But I met with him, I've talked to him. He’s special. He's different. He has the poise, the presence in the pocket, the playmaking, everything else you want. I absolutely love Bryce Young. I would bet on him."
He he later said if he was an NFL general manager he would be, "Scared to death of drafting him."
Young is a special talent but he does not have ideal size for the position. The track record of short, undersized quarterbacks in the modern NFL is not great. Yes, Drew Brees had a Hall of Fame career at 6-feet, and Russell Wilson was an All-Pro at 5-foot-11, but those are rare exceptions. Kyler Murray (5-foot-10) has all the talent in the world but has struggled to find consistency in the pros. For every one of those top-tier guys, there's a Baker Mayfield, Johnny Manziel or any number of shorter quarterbacks who have struggled.
It's not that it's impossible for smaller quarterbacks to be successful. They absolutely can be. It's just a much more treacherous tightrope to walk. Injuries are harder to avoid, passes are more likely to be batted down and seeing down the field can be more difficult. Those are all issues that can be worked around, but it's not easy.
The guy Young should really aim to emulate is Wilson. They have similar builds -- though Wilson has more bulk -- and their arms are comparable. That's the career track he should attempt to follow. If he can, his height won't be a concern.