Bryce Young’s passes are already batted down in OTAs, and oh god it’s starting

Bryce Young is a small man. That statement would be true even if Bryce Young was an accountant or engineer or lawyer, but it’s especially true in his chosen line of work, which is NFL quarterback. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft is listed at 5’10, 204 pounds on the Carolina Panthers’ official roster, and that is putting it generously. If Young succeeds, he will be the smallest QB in the modern era to do so.

The Panthers are getting their first look at the top pick in OTA practices this week. It’s mostly been positives so far: veteran QB Andy Dalton has raved about Young’s understanding of the game, and head coach Frank Reich called his command a “10 out of 10” on his first day. There’s a reason why Bryce Young was the first pick in the NFL Draft: he’s really good! But there’s also a reason some people were skeptical of his pro translation, and that’s because he’s still really, really tiny.

Young’s size concerns bubbled up during Thursday’s practice when he threw a pass that was batted down. Watch the video here:

It’s worth pointing out that the defensive lineman who batted down that pass, Shy Tuttle, is 6’3 with a big reach. Then again, there are a lot of tall defensive linemen who Young will have to be throwing over or around throughout his NFL career.

It was just last year that then-Panthers starter Baker Mayfield had trouble with getting his passes batted down at the line of scrimmage. Mayfield is a lot bigger than Young, but Young certainly seems more gifted in his ability to create plays from inside or outside of the pocket.

This may be an issue for Young throughout his career. The Panthers are betting on the fact that he’ll figure out a way to thrive anyway.

This post was originally published on SBNation

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