Alabama QB Young undeterred by size questions

INDIANAPOLIS — Former Alabama quarterback Bryce Young, one of the most highly rated prospects in April’s NFL draft, says he understands the questions the league’s personnel evaluators might have about his size and potential durability.

Because, well, he has a mirror.

“I’ve been this size, respectfully, my whole life,” Young said with a slight smile while speaking Friday at the NFL scouting combine. “I know who I am, I know what I can do. For me, it’s fair, everyone can speculate, ask me every question. I’m going to continue to control what I can control, continue to keep working my hardest. … I’m confident in myself. I know what I can do.”

Young, who will not be officially weighed or measured at the combine until Saturday, also happens to be one of the most decorated players in this year’s draft. A Heisman Trophy winner and the SEC Offensive Player of the Year in 2021, Young threw for 79 touchdowns with 12 interceptions while going 24-3 in his two seasons as the Crimson Tide’s starter. In his final college game, Alabama’s Sugar Bowl win over Kansas State in January, Young threw for 321 yards and five touchdowns.

Young is the No. 1-ranked player by Scouts Inc. and No. 4 on ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr.’s latest Big Board.

But with him listed as 6-foot-0 and 194 pounds at Alabama, Young’s size has become one of the most discussed parts of his NFL potential — especially after he missed time with a sprained AC joint in his right, throwing shoulder last season.

Young, however, showed the same unflappable nature Friday as he has shown behind center.

“To be honest, I don’t really know too much about what’s said about me,” Young said. “I’m grateful for everyone’s opinion … I respect everyone’s opinion, but I focus on what I can control. I take the advice and the direction of the people that I trust.”

On what he might weigh in at on Saturday, Young said, “I’ve been in the 200-pound range, and that’s been something that’s been not too hard to do.”

Young said Friday that he had met formally with the Chicago Bears and Houston Texans at the combine. The Bears have the No. 1 pick in the draft, and the Texans have the Nos. 2 and 12 picks.

He said each of those teams had a “great staff” and “great coaches.”

Young, who said he has spoken to former Alabama quarterback and current New England Patriots QB Mac Jones about the pre-draft process and “how to carry myself,” was asked Friday what he believes is the best part of his game.

“For me, I really pride myself on my leadership,” Young said. “I know that’s something I have to earn at the next level. I’m really excited to … try to earn that trust and respect from that locker room. I know that’s not something I’m entitled to.”