Bryce Young is currently the consensus No. 1 quarterback among NFL draft analysts, despite the size concerns — with questions not just about his height but his build as well. Nevertheless, his incredible level of play at Alabama has allowed analysts to peg Young as the top signal-caller in the draft.
Bryce Young Is Already a Field General Quarterback
More than anything else, playing quarterback in the NFL is about identifying space and taking advantage of it. No one did that better than Young in 2022, and no one projects to do it better at the NFL level than him.
There is not a level of play that Young has played at where he wasn’t one of the top players in the country. As Alabama has lost its edge on defense and skill players, they’ve made up for it with talent at quarterback, and Young is the best example of that.
As Trevor Sikkema of Pro Football Focus said, “Young was the best player in college football over the last two seasons. Plain and simple. The lack of size will be emphasized, but there’s no better playmaker in this class, both in structure and under pressure.” He added, “the concerns over durability don’t trump the fact that he showed the best abilities for a franchise QB.”
Sikkema is correct. Young is the best in-structure quarterback in the draft and can thread throws to receivers at all levels of the field within the timing of the offense with good footwork and through multiple progressions. He knows how to use his eyes to manipulate defenders, and his pre- and post-snap process is up there with the best prospects we’ve seen.
Young is also the best out-of-structure quarterback in the draft, with the ability to innovate inside the pocket with subtle movement and changing arm angles. He also has the athleticism and improvisational capability to extend plays out of the pocket and hit receivers on the scramble drill.
On top of that, he’s a deadly runner and scrambler, with remarkable agility and acceleration to complement his high-level speed at the position. He knows where every player on the field is at all times, a trait shared by very few quarterbacks in the NFL — but one that includes the reigning Super Bowl MVP.
There are size concerns with Young, but his pocket awareness, quickness, and ability to avoid contact should limit those downsides. And there aren’t any 6’4” quarterbacks in the draft with his level of maturity and understanding of opposing defenses. Don’t believe me? Here’s what legendary Alabama HC Nick Saban had to say about Young on Hey Coach podcast during the season:
“Bryce is one of the best guys that I’ve ever been around pro or college when it comes to understanding the defense and making the calls to get people picked up on the blitz.”
Young should be the top quarterback in the draft.
Making the Case for Other Quarterbacks
Who else could be the first overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft? We’ve made a case for each of the top quarterbacks and why it might make sense for an NFL team to venture down their chosen path.
- Making the case for C.J. Stroud
- Making the case for Anthony Richardson
- Making the case for Will Levis
Listen to the PFN Scouting Podcast
List to the PFN Scouting Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Scouting Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms. Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review! Rather watch instead? Check out the PFN Scouting Podcast on our Scouting YouTube channel.