Peyton Manning has an elite pro comparison for Bryce Young

Bryce Young, Alabama Crimson Tide. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Bryce Young, Alabama Crimson Tide. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

Peyton Manning sees Bryce Young having similar traits coming out as another Heisman winner.

While people will compare Alabama star Bryce Young to Drew Brees and Russell Wilson coming out because of his shorter stature, Peyton Manning sees a player like him far beyond the frame.

In the first episode of On The Clock airing on ESPN2 and ESPN+ Monday evening, Manning likens Young to Cincinnati Bengals starting quarterback Joe Burrow. Although Burrow is a good bit taller than Young, Manning’s comparison is all about that sort of magic both possess in and around the pocket. Truth be told, this is the exact comparison I had for Young coming out of Alabama myself.

Here is what Manning had to say about who he thinks Young could be at the professional level.

"“I think [Drew] Brees and Russell Wilson are kind of the easy comparisons because of the size similarities. But when you talk to real scouts — [Joe] Burrow is kind of the guy that comes to mind, right? Because of, sort of, the sixth sense in the pocket, the decision-making, processing information quickly. I’m not saying Bryce [Young] is going to have that same success as Joe right away. But I think the instincts that Joe has that Bryce had, the ability to beat the coverage keeps a lot of plays alive. … Recognition, processing, instincts, you see a little bit of Joe Burrow in Bryce Young.”"

This is the trailer for the upcoming series on ESPN featuring four former SEC quarterbacks in Young, Florida’s Anthony Richardson, Kentucky’s Will Levis and Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker.

It is these intangible traits that make Young a lock to be a top-two pick like Burrow was in 2020.

Peyton Manning compares Bryce Young favorably to Joe Burrow as NFL prospect

Once you realize that Young has the potential to be the next Burrow, you cannot think of anyone else. We are talking about at worst a top-four young quarterback talent in the league. Anyone not named Carson Palmer knows Patrick Mahomes is No. 1, but arguments can be made for Burrow, Josh Allen or Justin Herbert at No. 2. I lean Burrow because he plays his best when it is required.

Although he probably needs to go to a more well-run franchise than Burrow did coming out of LSU to succeed, Young does seem to have a bit of that thermostat quality within him. He can change the temperature of a room, rather than read it off to you like a thermometer would. It is why Young should have success as the face of the Carolina Panthers or the Houston Texans franchises.

Ultimately, Young is going to need protection upfront to succeed. He may be small in stature, but I think his game translates better than any other former Alabama quarterback coming out in the Nick Saban era. While Jalen Hurts, Mac Jones and Tua Tagovailoa have all have varying levels of success, I just have a feeling Young will be able to get to heights that maybe only Hurts can now.

If I were the Panthers, I wouldn’t think twice and pick Young before Frank Reich has his say in this.

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