Quarterback Bryce Young won a Heisman Trophy and became one of the best players in college football with the Alabama Crimson Tide. Just days away from likely being the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, one of Young’s best attributes is receiving even more praise.
The main knock on Young from evaluators and NFL scouts is his frame. Standing at 5-foot-10 and weighing 204 pounds at the NFL Combine, there are concerns regarding his long-term durability. With recent shorter quarterbacks like Kyler Murray (injuries) and Baker Mayfield (on-field issues) having some type of problem since being the first pick, Young’s frame is a real concern for teams.
- Bryce Young stats: 165 QB rating, 80-12 TD-INT, 65.8% completion rate, 9.9 ypa
However, he is also one of the most accomplished and well-rounded quarterback prospects to enter the NFL Draft in several years. Young earns high marks for his accuracy, work ethic, leadership and ability to throw with anticipation. While many of his biggest strengths are on the mental side of the game, legitimate NFL comparisons are being made to Drew Brees.
With the Carolina Panthers now expected to draft Young with the first overall pick, more information is coming out about some of the qualities that will make him the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft on April 27.
According to Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, Young scored a 98 on the S2 Cognitive Test. It stands out as one of the highest scores ever recorded by a quarterback in recent years.
The S2 test is another way of measuring a quarterback’s cognitive skills. As described by the site, it measures nine different cognitive skills; perception speed, search efficiency, tracking capacity, visual learning, instinctive learning, decision complexity, distraction control, impulse control and improvisation. It then generates a score to measure a quarterback’s cognitive skill set, with an S2 score of 91-plus classifying as a ‘top tier starter’ in the NFL.
Brock Purdy, Josh Allen, Joe Burrow and Justin Fields are among a select group of quarterbacks who received high scores in the low-to-mid 90s. A testament to Young’s S@ Cognitive Test score is also some of the praise he is generating from around the NFL.
Related: 2023 NFL Draft prospect rankings
“I’ve had people in the league tell me that Bryce Young could be an offensive coordinator tomorrow. His ability to process information, his decision-making, all the things that separate the physical freaks from the guys that make it and the guys that don’t, he’s got it.”Michael Smith on the NFL’s perception of Bryce Young’s football mind
It backs up what Alabama coach Nick Saban has said about Young during the pre-draft process, suggesting his work ethic and football mind were even better than some on the coaching staff. While concerns with Young’s size remain, his physical tools and mind are why he is now expected to be the first overall pick.