INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - JANUARY 10: Robert Beal Jr. #33 of the Georgia Bulldogs reacts to sacking Bryce Young #9 of the Alabama Crimson Tide in the fourth quarter of the game during the 2022 CFP National Championship Game at Lucas Oil Stadium on January 10, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - JANUARY 10: Robert Beal Jr. #33 of the Georgia Bulldogs reacts to sacking Bryce Young #9 of the Alabama Crimson Tide in the fourth quarter of the game during the 2022 CFP National Championship Game at Lucas Oil Stadium on January 10, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

Bryce Young Headed To The CFL?

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Everyone and their brother believes Bryce Young is an elite talent.

Everyone except me.

In the three games I watched in 2021, the Alabama quarterback (QB) didn’t even look like he belonged in the NFL, let alone as a high draft choice.

I challenge anyone out there to watch the three games I have documented and embedded into this article, and try to tell me otherwise.

That has not stopped the following platforms from ranking Young as a top-10 prospect for the 2023 NFL Draft:

Sports Illustrated, Pro Football Network, Touchdown Wire USA Today, Walter Football, 247Sports, Bleacher Report, The 33rd Team, CBS, The Athletic, Fox Sports, FanSided, SB Nation, Draft Kings, Pro Football Focus, NBC, The Sporting News, and Barstool Sports.

Not me…not as a former NFL Scout…not as someone who looked Bill Belichick in the eyes and convinced him to hire me.

If I was an NFL GM, I would not select Young in the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, or sixth round based on what he put on film in these three games.

Is Young just a byproduct of Alabama’s system?

It sure appeared that way.

On one side of my notebook page, I have five things written down as positives from my game film study and 11 different negatives.

There were too many inconsistencies.

One of the main tells that he is a byproduct of Alabama is he needs larger throwing windows to have much of his success.

Is Young’s height the problem?

I am not like a lot of the scouts out there who depend on measurables, and I don’t fall in love with guys at their pro days.

I rely on the game film.

Yes, Young is 6-foot-0, but Drew Brees, Fran Tarkenton, Russell Wilson, Sonny Jurgensen, and Doug Flutie all checked in at 6-foot-0 or under.

I am not concerned with his height, but I am concerned with how he plays small.

What’s the number one problem?

Young looks jittery in the pocket.

He is often moving around and climbing the pocket to throw.

In 2021, I watched every throw a calm, cool and collected Mac Jones made. Jones was the epitome of composure in the pocket. He was my pre-draft QB2 that year and I put a top-15 grade on him and slotted him to New England before it happened.

Young is the polar opposite of that, and he looked just too easy to defeat.

All opposing defensive coordinators have to do is pour pressure in his face, clamp down on his short game and lock into in tight-man coverage and the riddle is solved.

Make him win at the intermediate and deep route levels.

#9 Bryce Young 6-foot-0, 194 pounds

Daniel Kelly’s Grade: Seventh-Round – Early Fall 2022 Report

First Round Mock Big Board: QB16

Projected by 100% of the NFL Draft Community to be a first-round pick as of September 12, 2022 (nflmockdraftdatabase.com)

2021 game film reviewed: Florida, Ole Miss and Cincinnati (click to watch games viewed to form this evaluation)

Level of competition: High

2021 stats: 366/547 (66.9%) 4,872 (8.9 avg.), 47 TD, 7 INT.

NFL comparable: Vince Evans

2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report:

Game manager with mobility and does not have an NFL arm. Good play-action, but looks timid and uncomfortable in the pocket. Can hold the ball too long, is inconsistent going through his progressions, and ends up bailing out a lot. Melts down like a snowman with pressure in his face and he is not accurate enough when he is flushed out. Does not have enough velocity on the ball. Best in the short throwing range. Tendency to lock in with receivers. Number of passes broken up (watch Florida tape). Downfield ball placement left a lot to be desired (receivers jumping and diving). Can put too much air under the ball deep. Needs bigger throwing windows to have a chance. Classic good college QB, who doesn’t have what it takes to win as a starter in the NFL.

What to watch for during the 2022 college football season:

  1. Does he look comfortable in the pocket?
  2. Does he tend to hold the ball too long before throwing?
  3. Is he consistent going through his progressions?
  4. Has his downfield ball placement improved?

It looks like it’s me against the world on this one, but that is nothing new for me. I was the only voice in America who said QBs Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, and Trey Lance would be busts prior to them being selected.

Daniel Kelly is a former NFL Scout with the New York Jets. He was hired on the regime which featured Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick, Scott Pioli, Mike Tannenbaum, and Dick Haley. He currently writes for Sports Illustrated New York Jets and he is the Editor-in-Chief for First Round Mock. For more information about him visit his website at whateverittakesbook.com. He can be followed on Twitter @firstroundmock.

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