There is a “legitimate question” if former Alabama quarterback Bryce Young can take NFL hits at the NFL level — something CBS Sports’ Jordan Dajani relayed despite his assertion that Young is “the best quarterback in college football when under pressure.”
“The main knock on Young as a prospect is his frame, as he measured in at the combine at 5-foot-10, 204 pounds,” Dajani prefaced before saying, “It’s a legitimate question if his body can take the hits that will come at the next level, but you can’t overlook the fact that Young has been the best quarterback in college football when under pressure. Over the past two seasons, he has the most completions (131), passing touchdowns (26) and passing yards (2,339) when pressured.”
With Young canceling all of his pre-draft visits, Dajani views the 21-year-old as the “heavy favorite” to hear his name called first on April 27 during the first night and fist round of the NFL draft.
“Young is the heavy favorite to be selected No. 1 by the Panthers,” Dajani wrote. “Just recently, his odds surpassed those of Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud to be the first player off the board on the night of April 27.”
Bryce Young ‘Knows How to Not Be a Big Target’
Young was acknowledged by Rivals’ National Recruiting Director Adam Gorney to have durability questions from outside observers, but he was also credited by Gorney as someone who has been able to offset that in a number of ways.
“Size was the biggest question in high school and heading to the SEC but Young has answered that concern for years,” Gorney wrote. “The real issue could be durability taking hits from NFL defensive linemen since he would be the lightest QB taken in the first round in 20 years. Still, Young has proven over the years not to engage in big hits, he knows how to not be a big target and he has a great feel for pressure coming his way.”
Gorney admits Rivals made an error not granting Young a 5-star rating sooner after proving himself time and time again at the Rivals Camp Series.
“Size was always the concern about making him a five-star quarterback but after seeing him dominate consistently, it was impossible to hold back that ranking,” Gorney prefaced before saying, “Looking back, it should have happened sooner.”
Bryce Young ‘So Much More Advanced’ Than D.J. Uiagalelei
Gorney shared that while Young and former Clemson quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei (now with Oregon State) were closely linked coming out of the 2020 Class in Southern California, the Heisman winner was “so much more advanced” and ended up ahead in the rankings.
“Coming up in the Southern California quarterback scene in the same recruiting class, there was a debate between Young and Clemson signee D.J. Uiagalelei until the end, especially since Uiagalelei had the bigger arm and the then-prototypical NFL size,” Gorney prefaced before saying, “But Young was so much more advanced and so incredibly patient and decisive in everything he did, he ended up ahead of Uiagalelei in the rankings. It proved to be the right decision. Even at No. 2 overall, though, he might have been one spot too low.”
Young is NFL-bound now, and Uiagalelei won’t be discussed in the same breath as pro football’s most prestigious league if he doesn’t turn his career around in Corvallis.