Much will be made about how tall, or rather how short, former Alabama superstar quarterback Bryce Young is when it comes to the NFL Draft process.
Bryce Young may be on the smaller side of things, but the former Alabama star will be a top pick in the 2023 NFL Draft anyway.
If he was 6-foot-3, Young would be the undisputed No. 1 overall pick by the Carolina Panthers this spring. The good news is even if Carolina goes with a taller C.J. Stroud at No. 1, Young should not slip past the Indianapolis Colts picking at No. 4. Odds are, he will end up playing for fellow Crimson Tide star DeMeco Ryans on the Houston Texans, who have the second pick in the upcoming draft.
However, there is some belief Young’s shorter stature could result in more passes batted down.
This chart of NFL starting quarterbacks from 2019 to 2022 does not indicate a stronger correlation to smaller players having more passes knocked down at the line of scrimmage.
Let’s discuss if this will be an issue for Young like it has been for Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray or a non-factor like it pretty much has been for Drew Brees, Tua Tagovailoa and Russell Wilson.
NFL Draft stock: Will Bryce Young’s lack of height lead to more batted passes?
On the chart described above, the average NFL quarterback is 75 inches tall, or 6-foot-3. While taller quarterbacks may not see their passes batted down as frequently, Cam Newton, Davis Mills and Joe Flacco would beg to differ. Brock Osweiler may not play in the league anymore, but he was exceptional at getting passes batted down at the line of scrimmage, despite standing at 6-foot-8.
Truthfully, I think it has more to do with a player’s ability to move around and out of the pocket than anything. It is all about creating advantageous throwing lanes to rifle the pigskin down the field. Height can help a statue see over the big uglies up front, but poor mechanics, arm slot and release point can render that size advantage useless. So is Young going to be okay or not, Buhler?
I think it all depends on how quickly he releases the football. A quick release definitely served Brees, Tagovailoa and Tom Brady. Heck, even this is a trait that has kept Drew Lock in the league. He was not good a quarterback in college at Mizzou, but man, could he go really fast playing for Josh Heupel. But beyond a quick release, mobility in and around the pocket will serve Young here.
A reason why I have loved watching him play over the last two years is Young has a bit of that Ryan Fitzpatrick magic about him. He is not strictly an off-script player, but he is not afraid of those moments. Young may never be as gifted of an ad-libber as Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers have been, but I trust him infinitely more in that department over Stroud and Will Levis.
Truth be told, I do feel Young will be closer to a Tagovailoa in this than he would be to a Murray.
For more College Football news, analysis, opinion and unique coverage by FanSided, including Heisman Trophy and College Football Playoff rankings, be sure to bookmark these pages.