Las Vegas Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels was full of compliments for Alabama quarterback Bryce Young while speaking with the media at the NFL Combine. The Raiders possess the No. 7 overall selection in the 2023 NFL Draft. Raiders general manager Dave Ziegler should consider trading up for Young.
“Height is not a prerequisite for the QB position,” McDaniels said when discussing Young’s potential.
McDaniels was referencing Young’s size and stature, which is rumored to be under six feet tall and 200 pounds. Young recently made the decision to skip throwing drills at the combine. C.J. Stroud, Anthony Richardson, and Will Levis will throw in Indianapolis. It’s unclear whether or not Young will participate in the weigh-in process. Teams will be anxious to get Young’s official measurements, which may have to wait for Alabama’s pro day on March 23.
The Raiders are in the quarterback market after releasing veteran Derek Carr earlier this month. McDaniels and the Raiders could address the position via free agency or the trade market, or by drafting a young talent like Young and developing him. Young fits what McDaniels sets out to achieve offensively.
The Raiders moved on from Carr partially due to his failure to acclimate to McDaniels’ complicated offensive system. McDaniels will be anxious to acquire a quarterback that fits his scheme. Young possesses several traits that should intrigue the Raiders.
Young plays with terrific instincts. Possessing a high football IQ is more important in McDaniels’ system than size and stature are. That’s precisely why McDaniels was likely being honest when praising Young during his combine presser. Young thrived under Nick Saban and Bill O’Brien at Alabama while taking advantage of passing-game concepts that revolved around timing and rhythm.
O’Brien, who coached Young for his final two seasons at Alabama, previously spent two seasons working alongside McDaniels in New England (2007-08). It means Young should be somewhat familiar with McDaniels’ offensive concepts. That could ease Young’s transition to McDaniels’ scheme, which has been known to be difficult to grasp.
Young is an efficient and quick decision-maker that prioritizes ball placement and accuracy while calmly sorting through his progressions. Young is the most advanced quarterback prospect in the areas McDaniels places emphasis on. McDaniels surely appreciates Young’s attention to detail.
What the Raiders would have to part with to acquire a selection that positions them to draft Young is difficult to sort through. If the Raiders wanted to ensure they land Young, trading up to No. 1 overall would be expensive. The Chicago Bears are open for business at the top of the draft. The Raiders would have to include several future first-round selections, including 2024-and-2025 firsts. In-house scout Keith Sanchez had the Raiders trading up and drafting Young via his latest NFL mock draft.
Young’s size deficiencies could prevent him from being the first quarterback drafted. The Arizona Cardinals, Detroit Lions, and Seattle Seahawks are a trio of teams drafting in front of the Raiders that aren’t expected to draft a signal-caller. Drafting Young at seventh overall may not be realistic, but there’s an alternative scenario where the Raiders don’t have to move up to first overall, however.
The Raiders will have a new starting quarterback in 2023. Ziegler and McDaniels must sort through an abundance of options, veteran and rookie possibilities alike. Young would represent a strong choice for McDaniels in Vegas.
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