NFL Draft Rumors: Young, Safeties, Skinner

Sitting pretty with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Texans are reportedly very high on Alabama quarterback Bryce Young, according to Aaron Wilson of KPRC 2. Despite his diminutive stature, Young has always been considered a top prospect at his position dating back to high school. How much will it affect his draft stock?

In evaluating the former quarterback of the Crimson Tide, the Texans have formed an extremely high opinion of Young in many regards. The only area that concerns Houston is a potential lack of durability due to his slight frame. While his height has been a minor concern, when combined with a reported weight at Alabama of 194 pounds, his size becomes a concern for NFL teams. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the concerns certainly are a factor but not enough so to remove him from his status as the top passer in the draft.

At the NFL Combine today, we received an official measurement. One of the first to report on the matter, ESPN’s Field Yates provided us with Young’s height (5-foot-10 and 1/8 inches), weight (204 pounds), and hand size (9 and 3/4 inches). The increased weight is seen as a big win in Young’s camp as a factor that should help bolster his projected durability.

Yates also provided us with a comparison to former No. 1 overall pick Kyler Murray. While the two are not quite alike in play, Murray measured the same height, three pounds heavier, and with hands that were a quarter of an inch smaller, effectively negating any arguments that Young’s size should be a factor that would keep him from being a top draft pick.

Here are a few other rumors from this year’s upcoming draft:

  • Due to what is perceived to be a lack of safety depth in this year’s draft, the market for second-tier free agent safeties is expected to heat up when free agency opens, according to Tony Pauline of Pro Football Network. There’s an opinion that after the top three draft prospects at the position, which include Illinois’s Sydney Brown, Georgia’s Chris Smith, and the draft’s only expected first-round safety Brian Branch from Alabama, there is a large drop off in safety talent. This should result in more fervent bidding for free agent safeties who otherwise would’ve been looking at average contracts behind the top-tier earners at the position. While top free agent safeties like Jessie Bates and Jordan Poyer will be searching for top money, players like Eric Rowe, A.J. Moore, J.T. Gray, and Lamarcus Joyner should expect to compete for higher contracts than they would have if competing with a deeper draft class.
  • Contributing to the lack of depth at the position, Boise State safety JL Skinner was unable to perform at the Combine this week due to a torn pectoral muscle, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network. Skinner is currently projected as a Day 2 draft pick but could have improved his draft stock even more with a strong performance at the Combine, which many expected he would do. He still met with teams, but Skinner was not able to participate in any drills with the other defensive backs. He’ll have surgery next week.
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