Alabama Football: Bryce Young will drive most talk at NFL Combine


The NFL Draft Combine begins Monday, Feb. 27, with the arrival of defensive linemen and linebackers. Four former Alabama football players will be the first group of players to get started in Indianapolis. They are Will Anderson Jr., Henry To’oTo’o, D.J. Dale and Byron Young.

Two former Crimson Tide offensive linemen have been invited, Emil Ekiyor and Tyler Steen. Other former Alabama football players invited to the Combine are Jordan Battle, Brian Branch, DeMarcco Hellams, Eli Ricks, Cam Latu, Jahmyr Gibbs, and of course, Bryce Young. The Crimson Tide’s 13 invitees are the most by any school at the 2023 Combine.

The complete NFL Draft Combine schedule is here.

There will be many player stories throughout the eight days of the Combine. Some of them will be interesting. Don’t be surprised if within the group of ‘interesting’ the player most talked about will be Bryce Young.

There are multiple reasons why Bryce will garner so much attention. He is a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback, along with other awards. He has a good chance of being the first selection in the Draft. And he has something else, that many others don’t. Bryce Young has a ‘Wow!’ factor. Blessed with an abundance of physical and mental skills, enhanced by exceptional poise, in Young’s college career he was always one snap away from something magical.

Alabama Football Fans Know Young’s Magic

It is easy for Alabama football fans to believe any NFL team that passes on Bryce should be charged with malpractice. The reality is being the first player selected does not mean that player is the best in a Draft cycle. NFL teams draft based on need. As NFL Draft expert Daniel Jeremiah recently said, the Chicago Bears don’t need to use their No. 1 pick to draft Bryce Young. The Bears have a young QB with considerable potential in Justin Fields. Weaknesses in other position groups are more pressing for the Bears.

Jeremiah projects that if the Bears trade away their No. 1 pick, or not, the first QB taken will be Bryce Young.

But there are concerns about Young, both real and also contrived. Is he tall enough? Does he have enough weight to hold up to NFL pounding? If Young weighs in this week, at less than 200 pounds, rumors will fly. There are many sources for Combine rumors. One is when an NFL team floats information for the purpose of misleading other teams.

Alabama fans can get ready. If Bryce weighs a few pounds less than 200, the talk will be a certain team or teams are not interested in a trade with the Bears – because taking Young would be too risky.

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Maybe Bryce comes up shy in terms of weight compared to height proportion, based on standard NFL measurables. Any team executive assessing Young’s value based on measurables is lost in the woods. Young has gifts impossible to measure, but just as real as inches and pounds. An NFL team needing a starting QB will be crazy not to chase him.