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Bryce Young vows to learn how to slide

Bryce Young told Mike Florio he relies heavily on anticipation when it comes to downfield vision, which leads Florio and Peter King to discuss strategies for how the QB can protect himself at the NFL level.

Quarterback Bryce Young’s height is one thing. His weight is another.

During a Thursday conversation with the Heisman Trophy winner and presumed No. 1 overall pick, I asked Young about his effort to avoid contact, including whether he’ll work on falling in a way that results in his helmet not striking the turf.

“I think one thing just in general I can get better at for sure is just learning how to like baseball slide,” Young said in response. “Because, full transparency, I don’t like know how to cleanly, efficiently do that. Like, I always kind of just got down. I knew eventually it was going to come a day where I need to -- I’ve never really played baseball, so I knew eventually it was going to be a day where I need to learn how to baseball slide. I think now is a great time to attack that, so I think that’s something I’m definitely going to learn how to do.”

Multiple quarterbacks over the years have struggled to learn how to slide, including Mike Vick and Mark Sanchez. But that’s just part of the challenge of avoiding big hits.

When in the pocket, Young may get shoved to the ground. He’ll need to fall the right way to avoid what has happened to fellow former Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa -- body strikes the ground, helmet strikes the turf, concussion occurs.

That won’t stop the Panthers from making him the first overall pick. But it’s part of the work they need to do to get him ready to play in the NFL.