Short-Sighted Analysis | First Todd McShay Compared Bryce Young To Patrick Mahomes, Now He’s “Scared To Death” Of Young?

Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Bryce Young, the 2021 Heisman Trophy winner, is widely considered the top signal-caller in this draft. For what Young lacks in size, standing at a reported 5-10.5 and 185 pounds, he more than makes up for with his dynamic ability to play the game’s toughest position. He’s also known for making the difficult play appear effortless.

But even with those obvious attributes, there’s a lot of trepidation about how his slight and slender frame will hold against NFL-sized defenders with world class speed and very bad intentions.

Todd McShay is flip flopping on his analysis of Bryce Young
Todd McShay keeps flip-flopping on his analysis of Alabama QB Bryce Young. First he’s Patrick Mahomes, now he’s too small? (Photo: @bryceyoung/Instagram)

Todd McShay Thinks Bryce Young Is Too Small

One person who seems horrified for Young, is ESPN NFL draft analyst Todd McShay, who recently said:  

“If I’m a GM, I’m scared to death of drafting him.”

The only thing that can scare McShay so much is Young’s size or lack thereof, because his game tape from his two-year run at Alabama, is some of the best tape you’ll see. It’s also a surprising take considering Kyler Murray, who might be even shorter than Young, was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft and, despite getting injured last season, has turned the franchise from losers to winners in short order.

What’s also funny is McShay has also been lauding Young as the best quarterback prospect in the draft. In fact, last week, he was all-in on the Chicago Bears trading starter Justin Fields and drafting Young No. 1 overall.

He went as far as comparing Young to Kansas City Chiefs star Patrick Mahomes. 

“Bryce Young is a smaller version of Patrick Mahomes,” McShay said on Feb. 17. “The presence in the pocket, the ability to feel pressure coming, the ability to see the whole field and make all the throws with good touch and timing … he is different from these other guys. I would take Bryce Young if I was Chicago. I would do it because I would want Bryce Young. He is an upgrade over Justin Fields, and I want his rookie contract so I would have five years.”

So in the case of McShay, which way is up? Either you want him and draft him with no regrets or you don’t draft him and live with it, but enough of his love fest turned to trepidation. Just like Russell Wilson, Drew Brees, Kyler Murray, Baker Mayfield and the growing number of quarterbacks who are not quite 6 feet tall with their shoes off, Young has been this size all through high school at national power Mater Dei and at college football power Alabama, and his durability was never an issue.  

Most NFL Scouts Laud Young’s Abilities Despite Size

McShay isn’t the only ESPN analyst who’s raved over Young’s skill set. Dan Orlovsky compared him to Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry. Former NFL GM Mike Tannenbaum believes the Bears are making a franchise-altering mistake if they don’t take him. 

And Mel Kiper Jr., the veteran in this draft craze, says Young is the best processor of information he’s ever witnessed in the history of scouting and predicting the draft. 

That’s what makes Young special. His innate ability to understand what the defense is trying to do pre-snap and post-snap. Then it’s his ability to throw with anticipation and throw covered receivers open, which is a new skill quarterbacks are judged on. When you put on Young’s film you see all that, and he can throw off-schedule better than anyone in this draft and better than most NFL quarterbacks already. 

Bryce Young Won’t Throw At Combine

On Monday, it was announced that Young won’t throw at this week’s NFL combine, and instead throw at his Alabama pro day on March 23. Young’s decision is not injury related, as he’s fully recovered from an AC joint injury suffered during the 2022 season, which cost him a start. But he will interview, and that’s expected to go very well. 

Young’s refusal to throw will allow some other gifted signal-callers like Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud, Kentucky’s Will Levis and the Florida’s Anthony Richardson, to get some shine and a deeper look from the NFL personnel in attendance. They all could shoot up draft boards with a good showing. As for Young, he is not trying to make his height an issue or put himself on display to be criticized and dissected like a lab rat on social media. Plus, every No. 1 overall pick since 2019 has skipped throwing at the combine. Instead, he’s choosing to rely on his body of work at Alabama and his faith in his abilities.

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