Former Alabama quarterback Bryce Young could be selected as next month’s first overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
The 2021 Heisman Trophy winner enters the draft after a spectacular college career and playing in the 2022 national championship game.
Young will be competing with Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud to be the first quarterback off the board in April.
Despite his amazing play at Alabama, Young’s stature has been scrutinized at the NFL Combine.
On Saturday, Young officially was listed as 5-feet, 10 ⅛ inches and 204 pounds.
His weight would make him the lightest quarterback taken in the first round since 2006, and his height would make Young one of the shortest quarterbacks to be drafted since the AFL and NFL merged in 1967.
The shortest first-round quarterback taken since that year is Kyler Murray. The Arizona Cardinals drafted him with the first pick of the 2019 draft.
Murray measured at 5 feet, 10 and one-eighth inches and 207 pounds.
“I’ve been this size, respectfully, my whole life,” Young said. “I know who I am, I know what I can do. For me, it’s fair. Everyone can speculate, ask me every question. I’m going to continue to control what I can control, continue to keep working my hardest. … I’m confident in myself. I know what I can do.”
The Chicago Bears own the No. 1 pick in the draft, but what they do with the selection remains a mystery.
After drafting quarterback Justin Fields in the first round of the 2021 draft, Chicago could trade down for a big haul and stick with Fields under center.
They could also take a quarterback with the first pick and trade Fields or use the pick for a position of need.
Bears general manager Ryan Poles said the organization is leaning toward moving the pick.
“We’ve always leaned [toward trading back from No. 1] because Justin did some really good things,” Poles said Tuesday from the scouting combine, according to ESPN. “I’m excited about where his game is going to go.
“But, at the same time, when you sit in our situation at one overall, you have to do your due diligence. You have to investigate everything. You have to spend time with those guys just to make sure we’re making the right decision.
“What’s important to me — and I think everyone knows me by now and how I want to treat our players — we’ll be in communication with Justin along the way just to make sure that he knows what we’re doing and nothing is a surprise to him.”
Young said Friday he met with the Bears and the Houston Texans at the combine.