2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report


Bryce Young Scouting Report

July 10, 2022 1:00 PM EST


Bryce Young Scouting Report picture

School: Alabama

Height: 6'0"

Weight: 194

Eligibility: JR

Uniform: #9

Position: QB


Evaluated by: Austin Smith
Smith.Austinj14@gmail.com
Twitter: NFLDraftAustin
July 10, 2022

Prospect Overview


2020: 7 G | 13-22, 156 yds, 1-0 (TD-INT), 59.1 Comp %
2021: 15 G | 366-547, 4872 yds, 47-7 (TD-INT), 66.9 Comp %

Young was the top quarterback in 2020 ESPN 300 rankings and the fifth overall recruit coming out of Mater Dei's powerhouse program in Southern California. He led the Monarchs to State Titles in each of his last two seasons and finished his career with 13,250 passing yards and 152 touchdowns while rushing for 1,084 rushing yards and 26 more scores.


Bryce Young Scouting Report image 1

He would go on to choose Alabama over USC after initially committing to the Trojans. After playing in blowouts behind Mac Jones during Young's first year on campus, he took over the starting position last fall. Young would go on to win the Heisman Trophy in his first year as a starter while leading Alabama to the top overall seed in the College Football Playoffs.

However, after defeating Georgia in the SEC Championship Game, the Bulldogs would return the favor in the National Championship, where Young was picked off twice (career-high). The junior is majoring in Communication Studies

Bryce Young Scouting Report image 2

Positives

Young is an athletic passer with above-average arm strength and solid velocity that has steadily increased over the past two years. He can drive the ball to most parts of the field and shines in the short-to-intermediate range.

He owns a very quick release that allows Young to put zip on his passes, even when his feet aren't set. Once he sees what he wants, the ball gets out of Young's hand in a hurry.

He plays with good balance with his weight consistently under him, allowing Young to quickly maneuver in the pocket. He's a twitchy athlete that can make pass rushers miss with explosive bursts into or out of the pocket.

His eyes stay downfield for the most part when he's forced to move off his spot. Once he's in the clear, Young is constantly surveying the field, looking to find the open target. However, when he tucks the ball and takes off, Young has the speed and agility of an offensive weapon that can outrun pursuit angles.

While he is reluctant to take off (at times to a fault), Young has a playmaker's mentality in most other situations. He will continue to look for options all the way to the line of scrimmage, and his active eyes, quick release, and core strength allow him to make last-second decisions that can turn into big plays.

He reads the full field in Coach Bill O'Brien's system and displays good timing, hitting receivers out of their breaks or as they are coming into open windows. Alabama also employs a lot of crossing routes and designed blitz-beaters with early check downs, and Young shows accurate timing there as well.

He has the flexibility and strength to adjust his arm angles and still put a catchable ball out there. He's also smart as a runner. Young can make people miss in the open field but actively avoids taking big shots, even if it means leaving additional yards on the table.

Young displays a humble nature and typically has a smile on his face when he is on the field. Coach Nick Saban also lauded him for taking a leadership role on a young offense and guiding them to success with his poise and effort.

"This year's team was a young team", Saban explained following Young winning the Heisman Trophy. "A lot of the other teams we've had have been older with lots of really good players and the quarterback didn't need to be the focal point that Bryce had to be on this team. Eight new (offensive) starters. It was a work in progress that he engineered very tactfully with a presence, leadership, and performance-base that made all those guys gain confidence and get better."

Areas for Improvement

At 6'0", 194 pounds, Young is on the smaller side, though he's got good arm length with a release point that is typically high that allows him to pass from the pocket without batted balls becoming an issue. However, he'll need to continue to add weight to ease concerns about his future durability in a violent sport.

While Young has got a bit stronger in his core during his time in Tuscaloosa, he needs to continue to make strides in that area. Even if he does, I'm not sure he will ever have the strength to escape sacks or tackles once defenders have their hands on him.

His two most significant technical flaws are both correctible, but both hinder his accuracy, though the stat lines may not always show it. For starters, Young must play with more active feet in the pocket.

Often, his feet get lazy, and his lower half isn't ready to pull the trigger when Young finds his target. This leads to him throwing without his lower body, which won't fly in the NFL.

Even when he does throw from an ideal platform, Young doesn't always follow through moving forward. Maybe that revolved around some trust issues from an inexperienced group in front of him.

Still, there are far too many passes in which he's fading back or just finishing upright, despite no pressure in his face. His accuracy and ball placement are affected by these tendencies, even if his pass-catchers still make the play.

His deep-ball accuracy also has a lot of room for improvement, as he usually elects to drive the ball down the field instead of putting more arch and depth on the pass to allow his receiver to run under it. Adding more touch to his deep passes would improve the matter, though he may not have the high-end arm strength to ever be able to be an elite deep-ball passer.

For a quarterback with his mobility, throwing on the move will be something many teams will want to see out of him, but he needs to do a better job of squaring his shoulders to incorporate his core into the throwing motion.

Coach O'Brien's offense features a lot of designs to open up one particular receiver, but Young has to be careful not to lock on to him early. In fact, there are several examples of Young giving away his desired target by locking on to his eyes early in the play.

There are also instances where Young needs to tuck the ball and take off quicker, as opposed to holding out for someone to come open. This leads to too many sacks. He also needs to work on his ball security, as he's fumbled eight times in his career, losing five of them.


Bryce Young Scouting Report image 3

Draft Stock

Though Young is one of the top projected passers eligible for the 2023 class, there are still some technical flaws to be ironed out. Still, it's important to remember that he only has 15 starts and 569 passing attempts under his belt, and just turned 21 this summer.

Young has gotten the benefit of working with two very good coaches as it pertains to developing quarterbacks in Steve Sarkisian and O'Brien. There are always drawbacks to playing at these recruiting powerhouses with exceptional coaching staffs.

Sometimes flaws can be disguised by systems and talented players around the quarterback. I do think his accuracy isn't as good as the numbers suggest. Jameson Williams and John Metchie were wide open a lot last year thanks to their physical abilities and Coach O'Brien's play designs.

That often softens the need for accuracy and ball-placement to be top-notch. In moments where Young needed to be on point in both areas, his platform and weight transfer were detrimental to his task.

There is also little need for Young to make pre-snap adjustments in Alabama's offense, which won't be the case in the NFL. Still, those are fixable concerns, and when he does play with active feet and finishes forward with his throwing motion, the results are special, as shown below.



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With Young's arm talent, athleticism, and prowess to make big plays, he's got the kind of package teams want in a quarterback they are considering in the first round. Add in his humble nature, work ethic, leadership qualities, and poise, and he's got the kind of makeup teams want in a franchise quarterback.

Combine all that with a productive junior season where he adds a little more polish to his mechanics and footwork, and he has a chance to be a top-ten pick next year and possibly the first quarterback off the board.


Bryce Young Scouting Report image 4

Player Comparison

There are elements to his game that remind me of several quarterbacks that have been drafted in the top five picks in recent years. It's hard to see his size and athleticism and not see similarities to Kyler Murray.

Like Murray, the arm talent allows him to make throws from multiple arm-angles and platforms, and his burst is a nightmare for defenders in the open field. However, I also see a lot of traits that remind me of Zach Wilson coming out of BYU.

The durability concerns that come with his slightly slender frame are obvious, just like they were with Wilson. Young also has a lightning-quick release like Wilson did, as well as the willingness to keep his eyes scanning downfield until the last possible second.

There have been mixed results from both in their young careers, which could work against Young's case to be the top passer in this class when stacking up to guys like Ohio State's C.J. Stroud. Still, Young will have every opportunity to put himself in a position to be the first signal-caller off the board if he chooses to declare for the 2023 NFL Draft.

Games Evaluated

  • vs Ole Miss (10-2-21)
  • at Texas A&M (10-9-21)
  • vs Tennessee (10-23-21)
  • vs Georgia (12-4-21)
  • vs Cincinnati (12-31-21)
  • vs Georgia (1-10-22)

Notes from Film

  • Short stature with slender build that will be bring about durability concerns
  • While he can make pass rushers miss, he is as good as sacked once they get a hand on him.
  • Quick compact motion with the arm strength to drive the ball on most routes with zip.
  • Has a very quick trigger when he needs to get the ball out quick.
  • Explosive player that shows the short-area quickness to maneuver in the pocket and evade unblocked defenders. He chooses not to scramble most often, and in some cases, it's a fault in his game that results in sacks. Still, when he takes off, his ability to make explosive cuts at high speeds can make him a big problem for defenses.
  • His feet can get a little lazy in the pocket forcing him to throw off a poor platform where his arm and torso do all the work. Some of his worst throws come because he's not throwing with his lower half
  • Comfortable reading the full field and understands the timing of his progressions. He also has a keen eye for when to hit his check-down option.
  • Georgia sent a lot of blitzes at him, and for the most part, he knew where his check-down option or appropriate option was on the field.
  • Outside of his foot activity in the pocket, the weight transfer in his throwing motion is his biggest flaw. Often throws with fading momentum or none at all, even when there is room to step into his throw. His arms not strong enough to get away with that in the NFL.
  • He also needs to be more consistent squaring his shoulders on the move.
  • Could put touch on his passes more often. There are examples of it but he missed some deep throws because he's trying to drive the ball down the field instead of leading his receiver with a touch pass.
  • Caught him staring down targets on several occasions in situations that weren't designed for one receiver to get the ball.
  • Usually keeps his eyes down the field when he feels pressure, but there were a few examples where he dropped his eyes and missed his window because of pressure.
  • Has the playmaker gene that is always looking to make something happen. Several examples where he made a throw just before crossing the line of scrimmage or right as he was being taken down.
  • Will adjust arm angles to get the ball out of his hands quick or in a window, but the results are mixed. More often than not, this tactic is a result of his feet not being active when he sees an open target come into a passing window.


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