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C.J. Stroud Reclaims the QB1 Title



We’re down to four teams left in the playoffs, meaning all of the other teams have begun preparations for the future. In this 2023 NFL Mock Draft, we see some new faces enter the first round. It’s the beginning of fluctuation season, so let’s dive into how teams will improve their rosters through the 2023 NFL Draft.

2023 NFL Mock Draft

1) Chicago Bears: Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia

Chicago Bears fans appear ready to trade this pick, and it’s easy to see why. Finding ways to add more draft capital makes a lot of sense, but so does keeping the pick to draft Jalen Carter.

Carter’s a difference-maker that would immediately make an impact for the Bears’ defense. If teams asking for the top pick don’t offer enough, Chicago’s in a win-win situation already, so it won’t matter. Here, they get an impact player who can play all three downs.

2) Houston Texans: C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State

Houston’s in a good spot even without the first pick. Yes, someone could jump over them, but they should have a couple of players they like at quarterback. Bryce Young’s size continues to be a concern brought up, and it could sway teams in a different direction.

C.J. Stroud doesn’t have those concerns and has great talent as a passer. He’s an accurate passer who can hit throws all over the field, and his playmaking ability stood out late in the season. Stroud’s performance against Georgia revived the QB1 debate, and here he takes the throne from Young.

3) Arizona Cardinals: Will Anderson Jr., EDGE, Alabama

Another team that could receive some exciting offers, Arizona decides to stay put in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft. How could you not if Will Anderson Jr. is on the board?

The Cardinals just saw J.J. Watt retire and need help on the edge desperately. So there’s no need to play games by overthinking this pick. Anderson gives the Cardinals a game-changer on defense with great speed and power to affect an opposing offensive coordinator’s game plan by himself.

4) Indianapolis Colts: Bryce Young, QB, Alabama

Even if teams are concerned about Bryce Young‘s size, he won’t fall far. Indianapolis needs a QB to lead their offense, and drafting the Alabama star makes sense.

MORE: Top 10 Quarterbacks in the 2023 NFL Draft

Yes, Young doesn’t have an elite frame, but what he lacks in size, he makes up for in playmaking ability. Young is as creative as they get to complete passes to his receivers. His poise stands out above every quarterback in this class, and it gives him time to stay patient and let his routes develop.

5) Seattle Seahawks (From DEN): Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson

The losers of the Will Anderson sweepstakes get a consolation prize of Myles Murphy. Tough life. The Seahawks need some difference-makers in the front seven, and this is a great way to address that need.

Murphy plays with great effort and a motor that can be relentless. Combine that with good power and speed around the edge, and the Seahawks’ defense is in business up front.

6) Detroit Lions (From LAR): Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State

Detroit’s confidence in Jared Goff will be on display in the 2023 NFL Draft, and this mock raises his support. The Lions’ quarterback played well enough that the franchise can hold off on taking a QB so they can add to an energetic unit.

With Jeff Okudah already on the roster, one side of the defense is set. Adding a player like Joey Porter Jr. gives Detroit a chance to have one of the best tandems in the league. Porter brings good length to the position, and his ball skills have improved immensely over the past couple years as well.

7) Las Vegas Raiders: Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon

If you need a big cornerback, this class has what you need. We could see an abundance of corners fly off the board, and that’s the case in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft. Las Vegas is another team in need of some help at the position, and they’ll have plenty of options.

Christian Gonzalez is a developing prospect with exciting potential. At 6’2″, 200 pounds, Gonzalez brings the size that teams are looking for, and he’s displayed the ball skills that could make him a dangerous player in the NFL.

8) Atlanta Falcons: Tyree Wilson, EDGE, Texas Tech

It’s tough to ignore Tyree Wilson‘s ceiling. He brings all of the natural tools that teams covet, but that’s not all he offers.

Wilson is a tall and long edge rusher, and he’s shown to utilize that skill set at a high level against quality competition. He’ll be a potential instant impact player with the Falcons’ defense.

9) Carolina Panthers: Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida

Sam Darnold is not the future of the Panthers’ offense. Even with some solid games towards the end of the year, it’s obvious that a new signal-caller must be brought in to run the offense.

That’s the biggest reason I like the Panthers taking Anthony Richardson. Even if they stick with Darnold, Richardson can learn as the backup. If Carolina needs to move on, they can let their new quarterback learn the game.

With arguably the best arm in the class and athleticism that gives defensive coordinators nightmares, it’s going to be tough for teams to pass on his talent.

10) Philadelphia Eagles (From NO): Brian Branch, S, Alabama

If the Eagles don’t like what’s available in the trenches with this pick, they could trade back or look at another position. Philadelphia could use some help in the secondary, so that’s the need they address here in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft.

Brian Branch was another bright spot on an inconsistent Alabama defense. He’s a sure tackler that didn’t miss much during his tenure in Tuscaloosa, and that shouldn’t change at the next level. Branch’s athleticism jumps out on tape, and it’s the biggest reason he’s in position to make so many plays.

11) Tennessee Titans: Paris Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio State

Tennessee’s looking to get younger up front, so this pick makes too much sense. While Paris Johnson Jr. has a few things to iron out, he brings an exciting skill set to Mike Vrabel’s team.

Johnson’s quickness stands out, and he’ll just need to find a way to add more power to help him thwart future pass rushers. It will also help him open running lanes for Derrick Henry, who would enjoy more space to make plays.

12) Houston Texans (From CLE): Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU

With Stroud locked up with their first pick in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft, the Texans give their new QB a new weapon. Houston’s offense needs an injection of playmakers, and the draft appears to be the best way for them to do that.

Quentin Johnston shouldn’t do some of the things he does. At 6’4″, 215 pounds, he has no business making quick and precise cuts to break defenders’ ankles. Guys his size don’t do that, and it’s the biggest reason why he’s pushing the top 10.

Pair that with his ability to make acrobatic catches on 50/50 balls, and Houston’s happy that someone didn’t snatch Johnston up before them.

13) New York Jets: Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia

The verdict is still out on Mekhi Becton, and the other options for the Jets are getting up there in age. So drafting a younger tackle who can get the job done makes a ton of sense.

Broderick Jones wasn’t a first-round prospect when the season began, but he’s put in the work to ensure that he won’t drop out of Day 1. Jones brings a good blend of power and athleticism to the Jets’ roster, and it’s a skill set that can help this offense improve with the young talent already there.

14) New England Patriots: Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois

Devon Witherspoon‘s name continues showing up in the first round. His mentality is a big reason for that. Witherspoon plays the game without fear, and he’s a willing contributor in both facets of the game.

Whether it’s filling a lane to stop the run or dropping back in coverage, Witherspoon can do either and thrive. Those natural instincts stand out on film, and he’d be exactly what Bill Belichick is looking for in a defensive back.

15) Green Bay Packers: Nolan Smith, EDGE, Georgia

Injury concerns aside, Nolan Smith will bring exciting potential to the team that drafts him. After all, he’s played enough where one season shouldn’t hamper his draft stock too much. Smith is extremely explosive on the edge, and his athleticism allows him to change direction with ease.

16) Washington Commanders: Will Levis, QB, Kentucky

Arguably the most polarizing player in the draft, Will Levis has a volatile draft stock. Many are putting him in the top five, but this 2023 NFL Mock Draft sees him drop to 16th overall to the Commanders.

MORE: 2023 NFL Draft Big Board

The team drafting Levis is banking on traits. He has the tools to be a great quarterback, but can he be consistent? Levis displays great arm talent, and the upside is there, but there are also other concerns that could limit how high he goes in the draft.

17) Pittsburgh Steelers: Emmanuel Forbes, CB, Mississippi State

He’ll need to add a little weight to his frame, but Emmanuel Forbes is a natural playmaker, whose talent makes him a first-round prospect. Forbes has natural ball skills that stood out this year, and Mike Tomlin’s staff would love having that on their roster.

18) Detroit Lions: Gervon Dexter, DT, Florida

Dan Campbell already has the Lions ahead of schedule, and the defense has the potential to be a dominant group. They’re an energetic and talented unit that flies around the field every week. Now they add a player that is a force up the middle.

If he can do it consistently, Gervon Dexter will be a dominant force up the middle. At 6’6″, 315 pounds, Dexter has the natural power and strength to make NFL offensive linemen look like they’re still in high school. He’s not the most athletic interior defender, but he makes up for that with those natural abilities.

19) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia

There are plenty of changes ahead for the Bucs, and they appear ready for a rebuild. So looking at the secondary would be a good start to beginning that process.

Kelee Ringo brings good size to the position, and he’s a player who’s not afraid to get physical with his matchups. Penalties could be a concern at times, but that comes with the territory. Ringo has the speed to keep up with deep routes and the quickness and physicality to shut down his man on shorter routes as well.

20) Seattle Seahawks: O’Cyrus Torrence, G, Florida

If you need a tone-setter on offense, O’Cyrus Torrence is your guy. At 6’5″, 345 pounds, Torrence has the natural size to be a big presence on the field before the ball is even snapped.

Quicker players on the interior could give him some trouble, but that’s assuming they find a way to get around his big frame. Torrence knows how to use his natural talent well, and Seattle’s offense could open up because of him.

21) Los Angeles Chargers: Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame

Los Angeles could use a healthy pass catcher, even if that’s a tight end. Justin Herbert is one of the best quarterbacks in the league, and it seems silly to not give him as many weapons as possible. Especially when injuries arise.

Michael Mayer is the most well-rounded tight end in the draft, and he’s a great fit for the Chargers. A physical and dominant blocker, Mayer can set the tone in the run game. He’s also proven to be a reliable pass catcher thanks to Notre Dame’s lack of depth with their pass catchers.

22) Baltimore Ravens: Tyrique Stevenson, CB, Miami (FL)

Despite some of his flaws and playing on a team that’s underachieved in his tenure, Tyrique Stevenson has plenty of upside. Another big corner could be a great fit for the Ravens’ defense.

Stevenson’s also a fast player, so he can hang with nearly anyone he faces. Marlon Humphrey could use another playmaker opposite of him, and Stevenson has the talent to be that guy.

23) Minnesota Vikings: Jordan Addison, WR, USC

Jordan Addison likely won’t fall this far, but teams have other needs that aren’t wide receiver, so it’s not unlikely, either. Minnesota could use this pick on a corner, but there’s plenty of depth where they could wait and not pass on this kind of talent.

Justin Jefferson needs help, plain and simple. K.J. Osborn played well late in the year, but might not be the guy. Adam Thielen turns 33 in August, so the Vikings need a younger player to help. If Addison, an elite separator and route runner, is available with this pick, Minnesota shouldn’t hesitate to draft him.

24) Jacksonville Jaguars: Antonio Johnson, S, Texas A&M

Antonio Johnson brings a unique skill set to the NFL. At Texas A&M, he played all over the field for the Aggies’ defense, and it’s a big reason he gets drafted in Round 1 of this 2023 NFL Mock Draft.

MORE: Top 10 Safeties in the 2023 NFL Draft

Johnson played safety, corner, linebacker, and nickel in College Station, and appeared comfortable at every position. While he won’t play that many positions at the next level, his experience at least gives the Jaguars something to consider if they need help in other areas.

25) New York Giants: Trenton Simpson, LB, Clemson

New York has some serious skill sets on the edge of their defense, but they could use some help on the inside next to Jaylon Smith.

Trenton Simpson brings an athletic skill set to the Giants’ defense. Simpson’s ability to get in position most of the time is thanks largely to his ability to beat his blocker or the ball carrier to the spot. There’s some power in Simpson’s frame that helps, but it will be his ability to make plays all over the field that makes him an impact player.

26) Dallas Cowboys: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State

The hamstring injury will be a huge concern for teams, but the talent can’t be denied. Before this season, Jaxon Smith-Njigba was one of the best receivers in the country.

Dallas needs someone on the inside to open up the field for CeeDee Lamb, and Smith-Njigba would command attention in the slot. He’s a great fit in this offense, and a healthy Smith-Njigba makes the Cowboys’ offense incredibly dangerous.

27) Buffalo Bills: Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas

Bijan Robinson is a top-10 talent that might not even sniff that part of the first round, but that doesn’t devalue his résumé. Teams just don’t want to draft a running back that high anymore. Throw in the depth in the free agency market, and it hurts Robinson’s value even more.

Robinson is an elite runner with above-average pass-catching abilities, and his ability to create space in the trenches stands out above many. Robinson joins a Bills offense full of big-time playmakers, so it just feels like a natural fit.

28) Denver Broncos (From SF via MIA): Felix Anudike-Uzomah, EGGE, Kansas State

The Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year helped his draft stock more than many this season, and now he’s a first-round pick in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft.

Felix Anudike-Uzomah brings great power to his pass rush, and it helped him become one of the most productive players in the country. He’s still developing overall, but Denver needs someone to replace Bradley Chubb.

29) Cincinnati Bengals: Dalton Kincaid, TE, Utah

It’s not the flashiest pick, but it gets the job done. Cincinnati’s offense has a ton of exciting playmakers, but it never hurts to add more.

Dalton Kincaid is a reliable pass catcher who’s also a good value in the run game. With most of the attention on Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins, Kincaid could carve up NFL defenses because he’ll face plenty of 1-on-1 matchups.

30) Kansas City Chiefs: Bryan Bresee, DT, Clemson

The biggest thing going against Bryan Bresee is his injury history. Other than that, there’s a ton to like about his game. Plus, Chris Jones can show him the ropes on how to be a force for the Chiefs’ defense for years to come.

At 6’5″, 305 pounds, Bresee’s always stood out on film. His power and strength are what most linemen prepare for, but it’s his quickness in the trenches that surprises them. You don’t expect it from a guy his size, but Bresee can burn you with a blend of power and quickness that makes him special.

31) Philadelphia Eagles: Lukas Van Ness, EDGE, Iowa

Lukas Van Ness is expected to test well in the next couple months, which could make him an enticing first-round pick. Philadelphia needs some youth on the edge to join Haason Reddick, and the Iowa standout gives them another weapon to wrap up this 2023 NFL Mock Draft.

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Fantasy Outlook, Value, Projections, and Rankings




As we close in toward the new season, the ever-changing NFL landscape has player fantasy values constantly on the move, with key events like free agency and the 2023 NFL Draft still to come. Whether you’re used to the dynasty platform or are still learning the rules, let’s dive into the latest dynasty fantasy football value of WR George Pickens.

George Pickens’ Dynasty Outlook and Value

The flash was there, even though the consistency wasn’t. From the minute the draft selection was made, I called Pickens the WR1 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I cautioned managers not to let him slide in drafts, calling back to what happened to Tee Higgins in 2020.

Pickens showed exactly what I was hoping to see out of him: explosion, incredible body control, three-level separation skills, and buttery soft hands. Despite seeing 84 targets, Pickens finished ahead of Johnson as the WR43 in PPR formats with 52 receptions, 801 yards, and five total touchdowns on a healthy 14.5 aDOT with a 15.6% target share and 28.52% air-yard share.

The Pickens-Pickett combination will only get better as the two get more reps and grow together in the offense. Pickens showed positional versatility, lining up as the X or in the slot. And while he could still use some refinement in his game, you’re looking at one of the up-and-coming household names at the deepest position in dynasty.

MORE: Dynasty Rankings 2023 — Top Fantasy Options at Wide Receiver

Part of the evaluation of Pickens comes down to your belief in the ceiling of Pickett and this offense. If you believe we likely saw all that Pickett has to offer, then odds are Pickens likely doesn’t interest you much, as he’ll spend the next three years in a mid-tier offense, and we won’t see his upside.

But if you believe that Pickett does have way more to show and will take another step forward in 2023, then now might be the time to give Pickens a second look before the value rises.

George Pickens’ Dynasty Fantasy Ranking

I don’t want to rely on Pickens as my No. 1 or No. 2 going into the season, but I have him ranked as a low-end WR2 in dynasty due to his trajectory. Currently, Pickens is the WR24 in PPR formats, and in Superflex, where QBs see an increase in value due to positional scarcity, he is the No. 64 player.

There is room for him to creep into the high-end WR2 territory if his path and development go as hoped because the talent is certainly there. I am in the camp that we should not evaluate QBs too harshly in Year 1, and the same goes for receivers. Don’t set the value based on who someone is now but who they can be down the road. That version of Pickens is going to be fun to watch.

There’s still decent value to be had in drafting Pickens — more than if you were trying to trade for him, which would cost something in the late-first-round 2023 range. The managers who have held on to him are likely doing so because they are also optimistic about his future and don’t want to miss out on the surge of value. Think DeVonta Smith and Amon-Ra St. Brown, for example.

When I’m trying to balance youth and upside, Pickens is exactly the type of player I would look to have on my dynasty roster heading into the 2023 offseason. He is someone that, if I did not snag in rookie drafts last year, I would be actively trying to trade for him this offseason.

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How Tall Is Bryce Young? Will Alabama QB’s Size Be an Issue?




How tall is Alabama QB Bryce Young, and will his size be an issue as he transitions to the NFL? Young is one of the most exciting and polarizing 2023 NFL Draft quarterback prospects because of this issue, and even after the Combine, the conversation still rages on.

How Tall Is Alabama QB Bryce Young?

For most of the 2023 NFL Draft cycle, we didn’t have a definitive answer, as to how tall Young was. Speculation ran wild for months on end before official measurements were finally provided at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.

At the NFL Combine, Young measured in at 5’10 1/8″ and 204 pounds. That measurement put him around roughly the same height as Kyler Murray, the Arizona Cardinals’ first overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft cycle.

It’s not uncommon for college teams to boost their players’ listed height and weight measurements, and that was the case for Young. At Alabama, Young was listed as 6’0″ and 194 pounds. He ended up measuring almost a full two inches shorter, although that was the expectation for most evaluators.

Does Young’s Height Matter in His Evaluation as a QB?

Whether he measured in at 5’9″, 5’10”, or 5’11”, we’ve known for a long time that Young’s size was going to be a big talking point in the 2023 NFL Draft cycle. No matter his exact measurement, he comes in well below average when compared to starting NFL QBs.

Young is a big outlier, and that can be scary. But it’s important to discuss how important it actually is for his prospects of succeeding as a quarterback. The answer will vary for NFL teams. Some teams may take him off their board entirely because he doesn’t fit their prototype. But looking at Young’s Alabama tape, there’s reason to believe he can be an exception.

There are two concerns that come with Young’s size. He might not be able to see throwing lanes as well behind taller offensive linemen, and he might not be able to hold up against prolonged NFL contact.

The tape alleviates the first concern easily, as Young has proven himself to be very adept at not only seeing the field but also creating throwing lanes for himself, using his creative instincts and short-area mobility.

MORE: Is Jalen Carter’s Draft Stock Falling Ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft?

The more concerning measurement for Young might ultimately be his weight. He weighed 204 pounds at the NFL Combine, but that won’t be his actual playing weight in the NFL. There’s some speculation that he played as light as 180 in college, and he’ll likely be closer to 190 pounds with his lean frame.

Will Young be able to hold up at that weight? That’s a more pressing question than the one surrounding his height. But in college, despite encountering frequent pressure from SEC defenses, Young never had major durability issues. Injuries can be difficult to project, regardless of size. Thus, it’ll be up to each individual team, as to how willing they are to take that risk.

One cycle ago, the measurement that got the most press for quarterbacks was hand size, when Pittsburgh Steelers QB Kenny Pickett came in with an outlier hand size of 8 1/2″. At the very least, Young doesn’t have this problem. With 9 3/4″ hands, he’ll have no problems gripping the football in adverse conditions at the next level.

Confidence in Young Persists Amidst Size Questions

There’s no magic wand that will make the concerns about Young’s outlier build disappear. But throughout the cycle, he’s commanded a kind of confidence in spite of his size and has exuded it wherever he’s gone. At the NFL Combine, in response to the concerns, Young said simply: “I’ve been this size my whole life.”

That’s ultimately the size at which Young became a legend at Mater Dei and a five-star recruit. That’s the size at which he started for two seasons, won a national championship for Alabama, and led the Crimson Tide to the College Football Playoff. And that’s the size at which he won the Heisman Trophy in 2021.

MORE: Will 3 Quarterbacks Go Within the Top 4 Picks?

Young’s size has never precluded him from accomplishing great things, and that’s because he has the elite intangibles to counteract his limitations and complement his strengths. Many have spoken about these intangibles, but no one describes them better than Young’s college coach, Nick Saban.

“Bryce is the calm in the midst of chaos,” Saban has said of Young. “It comes from his great preparation. When he goes into the game, he kind of trusts that things are going to work for him because of the work that he’s put in, the preparation that he’s made, and the confidence he has in the people around him.”

That confidence showed all through the 2022 campaign, when Young put his team on his back week in and week out and created positive plays when nothing was there. That ability is what will earn him a chance to prove himself as a franchise QB.

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How To Watch, What To Expect, and More for Alabama QB




When is the pro day for Alabama QB Bryce Young this cycle, and what does Young need to do to strengthen his case for the QB1 mantle? Here’s a preview of Young’s pro day ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft.

When Is Bryce Young’s Pro Day in 2023?

Young will appear at the Alabama Pro Day, which takes place on Thursday, March 23. The pro day will be held at the Hank Crisp Indoor Facility on the University of Alabama’s campus. It will start at 11:00 a.m. CT (12:00 p.m. ET).

You can view the full list of pro day dates here at Pro Football Network.

How To Watch Bryce Young’s Pro Day | TV Channel, Start Time

Coverage of the Alabama Pro Day will be streamed on NFL+ starting at 2:30 p.m. ET on Thursday by a cast that includes NFL Network scouts Daniel Jeremiah and Bucky Brooks. That coverage will recap the day’s events, including Young’s highly-anticipated throwing session.

MORE: Pro Day News and Rumors — C.J. Stroud, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, and Marvin Harrison Jr. Headline Loaded Ohio State Pro Day

Along with Young, the Alabama Pro Day will also feature a host of other NFL prospects. Cornerback Eli Ricks is expected to test for the first time, and Will Anderson Jr., Jahmyr Gibbs, Brian Branch, Jordan Battle, Byron Young, Cameron Latu, and Tyler Steen will also be present, among others.

Bryce Young’s Latest Mock Draft Rankings and Projections

Much like C.J. Stroud and Anthony Richardson, Young is exclusively mocked as a top-10 — likely top-five — selection at this point in the 2023 NFL Draft. He has a bit more variance in his projection than Stroud, but he’s still anticipated to be one of the very first players off the board — commanding franchise QB capital.

While Stroud and Richardson have more often been tied to the Panthers at No. 1 overall, Young remains in that conversation. Jeremiah matched Young to Carolina in his most recent mock draft, sending Stroud to the Texans at No. 2, and Richardson to the Colts at No. 4.

Most of PFN’s recent mocks have projected Stroud to the Panthers at No. 1 overall, but Young doesn’t go far after that. Cam Mellor’s most recent mock draft listed Young to the Colts at No. 4. The four PFN mocks published before Mellor’s projected Young to the Texans with the second pick.

All three of the top QB-needy teams present potential fits for Young, but the best fit might be the Texans, who hired Kyle Shanahan disciple Bobby Slowik as offensive coordinator this past winter. With his “point guard” style of play, Young would fit perfectly in a Shanahan system, and he has the creation capacity to elevate beyond that role as well.

Additionally, new Texans head coach DeMeco Ryans has spoken glowingly of Young before. At the NFL Combine, he said the following of the Alabama passer: “I know Bryce is an outstanding leader from what I’ve seen and an outstanding quarterback. It’s no surprise the success that he’s had. Just because of the makeup, the type of guy that he is.”

What To Watch for at Bryce Young’s Pro Day

The big storyline for Young at the NFL Combine was his size. He ended up measuring in just over 5’10” and 204 pounds. That size measurement didn’t quell concerns about his projected durability, but it was far from a surprise.

At this point, it’s accepted that Young is a massive size outlier in the 2023 NFL Draft. Now, the question is: Are scouts willing to overlook that to bank on the intangibles that are there?

By and large, Young still fields confidence as a top-tier QB prospect. ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper still has Young as his QB1 in the class and has said of Young: “If he was bigger, he’d be the shoo-in for the No. 1 pick. His arm is more than good enough for him to be a great NFL signal-caller.”

MORE: Carolina Panthers Trade — Is C.J. Stroud, Bryce Young, Anthony Richardson, or Will Levis Their Target?

The size still looms over Young, but that book is closed — in regards to how it’ll affect his stock. Any team willing to pick Young is willing to take that risk on an outlier. The more important thing for Young is simply seeing the rest of the process through, and that starts with his Alabama Pro Day.

Notably, Young chose not to throw at the NFL Combine and instead opted to wait for his pro day. That decision didn’t necessarily garner scrutiny, but after Stroud and Richardson both impressed with their throwing sessions in Indianapolis, there is some pressure on Young to make up the difference in Tuscaloosa.

Some have postulated that Young doesn’t quite have the arm strength that the other top quarterbacks do, and while his accuracy is a defining strength, Stroud is the standard that Young will be compared to. Young has a crisp release and sharp mechanics, so his throwing session should only help him, but he’ll need to be locked in with NFL evaluators looking on.

It’s unclear if Young will test, but if he does, that part of his pro day will also draw attention. Young has visible athleticism on tape to go along with his elite creative instincts, but he doesn’t appear to be the same kind of athlete that Kyler Murray, a similarly-sized outlier, was coming out. That may also factor into evaluations.

Ultimately, Young’s pro day will bring more exposure to NFL teams at an interpersonal level as well. That will be the biggest benefit for Young, whose character and attention to detail have been praised all throughout the process by those close to him. He fits the “CEO of a Franchise” definition that many teams seek in their QBs. He’ll get a chance to show that on Thursday, too.

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