Former Alabama quarterback Bryce Young has heard the criticism about his size, and this week was no different.
On Monday at the NFL's annual league meetings in Phoenix, Houston Texans coach DeMeco Ryans was asked for his take on one of the top prospects in the draft and his smaller stature for a quarterback.
“For Bryce, I know it's a lot going on to talk about his size," Ryans said. "The guy has done it at the highest level in college football, and size hasn't seemed to be a problem. I don't see it as an issue because you watch the tape, and you put on the tape, and you see the kid play and you see how smart he is. You see the anticipation. You see the accuracy. You see how this guy is calm in critical moments.”
Young came in at 5-foot-10 1/8 during the scouting combine, and he weighed 204 pounds. Despite his measurables, though, Young is expected to be a top-10 pick come April.
How historically small is Young?
Since 2006, only three quarterbacks who have measured below the 6-foot mark at the combine have been drafted, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. Those three are Kyler Murray (the No. 1 overall pick in 2019 by the Arizona Cardinals), Russell Wilson (third round in 2019, Seattle Seahawks) and Johnny Manziel (No. 22 in 2014, Cleveland Browns).
The Texans hold the second and 12th picks in the first round of Ryans’ first draft as the team's coach. So with Houston being in the market for a quarterback, Ryans also said Monday that the Texans plan to bring Young in for a top-30 visit.
So far, Murray has earned two Pro Bowl honors in four seasons, and Wilson has earned nine in 11 seasons. Wilson also was the starting quarterback for the Seahawks when they defeated the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII. As for Manziel, he threw seven touchdowns and seven interceptions in eight starts for the Browns in two seasons before being released.
Beyond Young’s height, his weight is an additional talking point. At Young's current weight, he would be the lightest quarterback selected in the first round since 2006. Murray and Manziel are currently tied for the lightest at 207.
But based on what Ryans has seen on film from the 2021 season (when Young won the Heisman Trophy) and last season, the coach said the signal-caller's size won’t necessarily deter the Texans.
“When you see those things, size isn't one of the factors that pop up on tape that's like, ‘Oh, man, it's a problem,’” Ryans said. “Again, you just look at the track record, see what he's done in the SEC, the highest level of college football, he's been successful, and I think he'll be successful in the NFL, as well.”