Young’s height, Richardson’s speed dominate headlines at NFL combine

Former Alabama, Florida QBs draw attention from scouts, for better or worse
Alabama quarterback Bryce Young, right, watches drills with Purdue quarterback Aidan O'Connell,...
Alabama quarterback Bryce Young, right, watches drills with Purdue quarterback Aidan O'Connell, left, Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson and Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Saturday, March 4, 2023. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)(AP)
Published: Mar. 5, 2023 at 7:00 PM EST
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Bryce Young provided one answer Saturday at the NFL’s annual scouting combine: He stands 5-foot-10 1/8 inches and weighs 204 pounds.

Next question: Will his small frame hurt his draft stock?

On a day Anthony Richardson put on an impressive show at Lucas Oil Stadium, Young's numbers will create debate among scouts and team decision-makers about whether Young should be the first player — or the first quarterback — selected on April 27.

Richardson certainly made his case with a 4.43-second 40-yard dash, the fourth-fastest by a quarterback since 2003. The former Florida quarterback also broke the modern combine position record with a 40 1/2-inch vertical jump, and his 10-foot, 9-inch broad jump tied Matt Jones of Arkansas for the best mark by a quarterback since 2003.

Young's numbers, meanwhile, could have the opposite effect.

Typically, teams want franchise quarterbacks to be a little sturdier to remain healthy. Young's measurements would make him one of the league's smallest quarterbacks.

He doesn't believe it's a big deal, though he was listed at 6-0, 194 in college.

"I've been this size my whole life. I know who I am, I know what I can do," Young said Friday when asked about the size issue.

The 2021 Heisman Trophy winner from Alabama has all the other prototypical tools that franchises seek — strong arm, quick release, good accuracy, mobility and a knack for making big plays, even on the move.

The closest comparisons might be to Kyler Murray, whom Arizona took with the top overall pick in 2019, and Russell Wilson, a third-round pick in 2012 who led Seattle to its only Super Bowl title before landing in Denver last season.

While the quarterbacks, tight ends and receivers were scheduled to do their on-field drills Saturday in Indianapolis, Young had said he wouldn't join them. The next time scouts will see Young will be at Alabama's scheduled pro day.

Many draft analysts believe Young, former Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud, former Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter and Alabama linebacker Will Anderson Jr. are the four players vying to be selected No. 1 overall.

Stroud performed well in the passing drills and another highly regarded quarterback, Will Levis, showed his arm strength. But Anderson is sticking with his ex-teammate.

"I would say Bryce played in the SEC, one of the best conferences in college football," he said. "Big defensive tackles, big defensive linemen, big pass rushers and took a lot of hits during his years there. I have all confidence in Bryce Young. If I was in the position to take him, I'm taking him."

Associated Press 2023