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Nick Saban defends Bryce Young from pre-draft height criticism


Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban knows full well what NFL Draft prospects go through after making their intentions to turn pro known. After all, Alabama has been an NFL factory under the legendary Crimson Tide head coach.

Bryce Young is the latest example of a former Alabama star being on the receiving end of criticism heading into the NFL Draft.

Despite his absolutely brilliant career at Tuscaloosa, Young’s smallish 5-foot-10 frame has come under scrutiny following the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine. Saban is having none of it.

“We’ve all seen the 6-4, 225-pound guy that can throw it like a bazooka, but he can’t make the choices and decisions; he can’t distribute the ball; he can’t throw it accurately. So who’s the better bet? I’m going on history, production, performance, and Bryce Young’s done it about as well as anybody.”

Nick Saban on Bryce Young, via AL.com

The archaic mentality of needing that prototypical pocket passer should have been a thing of the past by now. Just look at the two Super Bowl quarterbacks this past February in that of Jalen Hurts and Patrick Mahomes. They are dual-threat options in the truest sense of the word. Buffalo Bills star Josh Allen and former NFL MVP Lamar Jackson are two other examples of that.

On the other end of the spectrum, typical drop back guys such as Carson Wentz (6-foot-5) and Davis Mills (6-foot-4) lack in the decision-making process.

Bryce Young draft profile: Measurements, stats, scouting report and projection

Nick Saban rightfully talks of Bryce Young

bryce young, nick saban
Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

A two-year starter for the Crimson Tide, Young was absolutely brilliant during his time under Saban. He won the Heisman Trophy as a first-year starter in 2021 before playing at a high level this past season.

Bryce Young statsQB RatingTD – INTTD % – INT %Completion %PFF Grade
2021167.547 – 78.6% – 1.3%66.9%92.0
2022163.232 – 58.4% – 1.3%64.5%91.5
Bryce Young statistics via PFF and CFBR

He did all of this playing against top-level SEC competition. That type of previous success should play a role in the pre-draft evaluation process, right?

“I think history is the best indicator of what the future is going to bring. Bryce is not ideal height that NFL folks would like to see for that particular position, quarterback. But I think Bryce has played extremely well. He has no history of being injury-prone.

Because the SEC — there’s a lot of folks in the SEC that end up playing in the NFL — and he plays against those guys every week. He’s never had a problem with injuries.”

Nick Saban on Young heading into the 2023 NFL Draft

The fact that we’re questioning Young’s size at this point in the process is borderline absurd. And while Nick Saban has a built-in relationship with the young quarterback, he’s 100% on the spot here.

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