Senior Bowl Player Profile: Alabama DL Byron Young
On February 4th, Mobile’s game will be held at Hancock-Whitney Stadium and over a hundred of the nation’s draft hopeful seniors will descend on the Gulf Coast for a week of practice in front of scouts from every NFL team before the Senior Bowl. Leading up to the game, we’ll take a look at a different prospect every day and talk about their background, their college career, where they could be drafted, and how the Senior Bowl could help them. Today, we’ll talk about Alabama defensive lineman Byron Young:
Byron Young was a highly regarded recruit in the class of 2019 out of West Jones High School in Laurel, Mississippi. 247 ranked him as the 76th overall player in the nation as well as the 7th ranked defensive tackle and the 5th overall player in the state of Mississippi. It was a relative surprise when he chose to play for Alabama over staying at home at either Ole Miss or Mississippi State. He also held offers from Clemson, Florida, and LSU. In 15 games during his senior year of high school, he was a numbers machine, racking up 125 tackles (29.5 for loss) and 17.5 sacks.
When Young chose to play at Alabama, he knew that meant he would have to develop and get better and wait his turn to shine. He still saw a good bit of time his freshman year, however, appearing in all 13 games and starting five of them. He totaled 23 tackles and one sack on the year. He saw his role gradually increase over his career, factoring in the rotation of the undefeated 2020 team and then making seven starts in 2021 including both playoff games.
His best year in Tuscaloosa was his senior year, being selected as an All-American and first team All-SEC as well as starting all 13 games for the Crimson Tide. But he saved his best performance for his return home to Mississippi, having a career day at Ole Miss where he recorded 11 tackles, 2 sacks, a pass breakup, and a forced fumble. It is very likely that Alabama would have lost the game without Young’s heroic performance, and he will forever be remembered fondly for it. Check out some of his best plays from that day and his career:
Current Draft Projection:
There will actually be two Byron Youngs at the Senior Bowl, as Tennessee boasts an edge rusher with the same name as well. As for the Alabama Byron Young, he is expected to be a mid-Day 2 pick at the moment. The consensus seems varied, as you often see players at these positions go way higher or lower than expected depending on what teams see on tape, but I would guess Young goes earlier due to having an Alabama pedigree. He has gotten better every season and was playing the best football of his career at the end of Alabama’s 2022 campaign, as well as possessing all of the tools to be a solid NFL interior pass rusher. I expect Young to go early in round two.
How the Senior Bowl Could Help Him:
Young is going to get a chance to go up against some serious offensive line talent in front of every NFL team in the league at the Senior Bowl. Playing in the SEC for four years, there is plenty of tape to look at against good competition, but scouts will have a chance to match what they’ve seen on screen to in person. Young’s four year status at Alabama will likely earn him a solid draft position regardless, but a dominant performance in Mobile will solidify that and possibly move him up even more.