Alabama QB Bryce Young confident in abilities, downplays questions about frame

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Bryce Young knows the chatter is out there. The talk of his height. The questions regarding his weight. The opinions about how his game will translate to the NFL. The thoughts of where he’ll land at the top of the draft. 

The reality, though, is that he’s not really sure about the specifics that are out there about him.

“I’m grateful for everyone’s opinions, for the media, for all the coverage and everything, but I’m not really on social media that much,” Young said Friday at the NFL Combine. “I’m not really watching too much about me. I respect everyone’s opinion, but I focus on what I can control. I take the advice and direction of the people that I trust, [those] in my corner and those at the next level.”

Most of the conversation about the 2021 Heisman Trophy Winner has undoubtedly revolved around his frame. 

His Alabama bio generously lists him at 6 feet tall, 194 pounds. He’s on the smaller side. We won’t know his exact size until Saturday, when the quarterback prospects take their measurements in Indianapolis. But speculation about Young’s measurements has been rampant. He barely stood over the shoulders of a tight end prospect when he arrived at the combine earlier this week. 

Earlier in the offseason, he took a photo standing between Saints legendary quarterback Drew Brees and fellow top QB prospect C.J. Stroud. Young was shorter than Brees, who’s officially listed at 6-foot.

Young said he has been around the “200-pound range,” an expected benchmark for many draft evaluators. 

As far as his height? 

“I’ve been this size, respectfully, my whole life,” Young said. “I know who I am. I know what I can do. It’s fair — everyone can speculate. … I’m going to continue to control what I can control. I’m going to keep working my hardest to put myself in a good position. I’m confident in myself. I know what I can do.” 

Young, the potential No. 1 pick and widely regarded as the best quarterback in the draft, has arguably been the best signal-caller in college football the past two seasons. Since 2021, when he became Alabama’s starting quarterback, Young has completed 65.9% of his passes for 8,200 yards and 79 touchdowns with just 12 interceptions. 

He guided the Crimson Tide to the national championship game as a sophomore — a loss to Georgia — then to a Sugar Bowl victory over Kansas State this past season, winning MVP honors with a sizzling performance: a 71.4% completion rate for 321 yards and five touchdowns with no interceptions. 

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Asked about the best part of his game, Young said he prides himself on his leadership. 

“I know that’s something I have to earn at the next level,” Young said. “I feel like I’m someone who pushes myself and prides myself on my preparation and processing and leading a team and an offense. For me, I feel like I do whatever I feel like is best for the team. I try to make efficient decisions.” 

Among those Young has sought out for advice about preparing for the next level? His ex-Alabama teammate and current Patriots quarterback Mac Jones, whom he backed up as a freshman. 

“My drive isn’t necessarily to prove anything,” Young said. “I think for me it’s to try to explain all the things that I see to all the coaches, all the decision-makers. To express myself, talk about how I see the game.

“For me, where I end up is something I cannot control. I’m going to give my all to whichever team takes me,” he continued. “I’m just super excited to be here. It’s my dream to play in the NFL. To be able to be here, whatever team I’m taken by, is a blessing.”

Ben Arthur is the AFC South reporter for FOX Sports. He previously worked for The Tennessean/USA TODAY Network, where he was the Titans beat writer for a year and a half. He covered the Seattle Seahawks for SeattlePI.com for three seasons (2018-20) prior to moving to Tennessee. You can follow Ben on Twitter at @benyarthur.

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