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Nick Saban offers rare praise of Bryce Young, sends message to NFL teams

Bryce Young will go down as one of the best Alabama Crimson Tide quarterbacks ever. As NFL general managers and coaches watched him at Thursday’s Pro Day in Tuscaloosa, coach Nick Saban let the league know just how he feels about the star quarterback.

Young, the 2021 Heisman winner, achieved a long list of accomplishments at Alabama that strengthen his resume to be the No. 1 overall pick. The Carolina Panthers, who hold the top selection in the 2023 NFL Draft, are reportedly deciding between Young and C.J. Stroud.

Related: Bryce Young scouting report

After attending Stroud’s Pro Day at Ohio State, the Panthers’ organization flew to Tuscaloosa to watch Young during Alabama’s Pro Day. While Saban wouldn’t delve into all the details of what he would tell NFL coaches about Young, he did offer one piece of praise that speaks volumes of the quarterback’s worth ethic and maturity.

Appearing on NFL Network during Alabama’s Pro Day, coach Nick Saban offered some glowing praise for Young’s preparedness and intelligence.

“Bryce was as smart and well-prepared as our entire coaching staff.”

AAlabama Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban on quarterback Bryce Young

Related: NFL GM believes Bryce Young will be better than Kyler Murray, with a caveat

Keep in mind who worked on Saban’s staff in 2022. Former LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger, ex-SEC head coach Derek Dooley and new New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien were all part of the Crimson Tide’s football preparation and game-planning.

NFL teams already knew that Young had a high football IQ and offered the level of work ethic only found in franchise-caliber quarterbacks. However, hearing those specific praises from Saban certainly goes a long way.

One of the few knocks on Young’s draft profile is his height and thin frame. Unsurprisingly, Saban backed his former star quarterback and expressed no doubt that Young can hold up to the physicality of playing quarterback in the NFL.

“I don’t have any issues with his measurables. … He’s never been hurt here, other than when he hurt himself basically, falling down and put his arm out. His 5-10 frame has never really had an impact on his productivity.”

Alabama coach Nick Saban on Young’s size (H/T Mike Garafolo)

Related: Nick Saban responds to criticism of Bryce Young’s height

It’s normal for a college coach to praise their former quarterback, talking them up to any interested NFL teams that inquire. However, Saban’s weight carries additional pull in the league and it wouldn’t be a surprise if the Panthers and Houston Texans ask him more about Young in the final month of the pre-draft process.

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