Yahoo Sports NFL writer Charles McDonald is joined by The Athletic’s Nate Tice on the latest episode of “You Pod To Win The Game” to discuss the Alabama quarterback’s outlook entering this April’s draft and why he could serve as a referendum for future signal callers. Hear the full conversation on You Pod To Win The Game. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you listen.
[CRACK OF THE BAT]
CHARLES MCDONALD: I am still on the Bryce Young train. I know that-- I know. He's tiny. He's minuscule. And I accept that. But I don't know. I like watching him play. And I still think that there's a path for him to become a starter down the road. What do you think about Alabama quarterback Bryce Young?
MATT TICE: If size weren't a big factor in this, he's my number-one player. He's the best football player, I think, of all these guys and constantly underrated as far as, I think, his mind as being a quarterback as opposed to just being fun to run around. Yes, he can do all the creation stuff. And his quick twitch, like being able to throw the ball on the move is pretty remarkable. And that's-- that's more than anything I see the Kyler comparisons. I think Kyler's a better runner. Kyler's is a little more stronger arm.
But that ability to just generate torque out of nowhere is pretty-- it's notable. It's just that it comes down to size. And I'm always a sucker for size. So it's like this is how I've kind of done my rankings is that-- I'm not going to spoil the other parts of this rankings. But, like, if it was just size didn't matter, and I knew this guy was going to stay healthy, he's my number-one guy. But that does matter. So he's truly more like my number-three guy.
But I do think his talent is-- I think he's a winner. His talent-- you could tell he puts the team on his back. This is, to me, one of the more weaker Alabama teams I've watched the last couple of years as far as receiving talent and O-line.
And I thought going in, I'm like, man, he always bails because he can't see. Usually short guys-- Baker Mayfield was always the perfect example of this. He always bails back in the pocket because he can't see. And I always thought that's what Bryce Young was doing. And then I watched and was like, oh, no, his O-line just letting pressure up the middle.
CHARLES MCDONALD: Yeah, that's not very good.
MATT TICE: He has to get the hell out of there. So that, like, made me more of a fan of him. But I understand why people love him. I think he's-- no matter what, he's going to be a fun player, just always gonna be the health.
I've brought in the Doug Flutie comparisons, and I mean that as a compliment. They're built the same. If you watch them play, creation, throwing from the pocket, they do all that stuff. So I'm a fan of him as a player. It's just I do have-- the size stuff is always going to be in the back of my mind.
CHARLES MCDONALD: Yeah. I want to ask you a question as someone who's evaluated players for NFL teams. If this Bryce Young thing-- let's say he gets drafted number two to Houston. And it goes wrong. Is this, like, the last small quarterback that's going to get drafted that high based on what we've seen from Kyler over the past season?
MATT TICE: Kyler, how Russ has aged, Baker falling off a cliff, like, all those guys. Yeah. The thing with Bryce is his height doesn't really mess with his game. It's just the weight. And I've told you this before, but I did a study on quarterbacks under 210-- 210, not even 200, but 210 pounds. And the ones that were successful were Lamar, Mike Vick, and Mark Bulger. Those were the three. And hopefully Desmond Ridder.
But it's-- but those were the three. And he's under 200, like, legit. He's going to be probably 192. He'll probably have some water weight at combine. But I do think that's more of the thing is that the weight because I don't think the height affects his game as much as it has with Russ or Baker and how they played the game. But I do think it's just another nail in that coffin because it was fun for a while. Like, all these guys, like, yeah, all heights matter, you know. And then now it's-- yeah, now it's like, oh, no, this is why there was always a threshold of 6' 2" and above for quarterbacks.
CHARLES MCDONALD: Yeah. This is the last small quarterback that I'm going to stand-- the last one. Because if this doesn't turn out right, it is what it is. But I really like watching his game. And I say this as a Georgia fan, there's been, like, three players going into a game that I have feared over the past two years-- Marvin Harrison, Jr., Jameson Williams, and Bryce Young.