Every year, the NFL draft has around 4-5 truly elite prospects. Not every one of those prospects is a fit for every team. That being said, sometimes it’s hard for scouts and draft analysts to agree on a consensus number one player.
That’s not the case in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Enter Chase Young - discussion...OVER!
Young is a 6’5” 265 pound human wrecking ball from Ohio State. The Hyattsville, MD native(class of 2017) who played his high school football at powerhouse DeMatha Catholic, was the number one rated prospect in the state as a senior, the number two weakside defensive end in the country and the number seven overall prospect - carrying five-star status and a .9957 overall rating.
Young played as a true freshman, but it wasn’t until midseason against the Maryland Terrapins that he had his coming-out party. Playing in front of family and friends who made the trip to “The Shoe”, he posted three tackles, one sack, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. It appeared the lights had come on!
Despite playing behind Nick Bosa(former 1st round pick), Tyquan Lewis(former 2nd round pick) and Sam Hubbard(former 3rd round pick), Young played in nine games, and record 18 tackles, five for a loss, and 3.5 sacks.
As a sophomore, Young, who was playing with two sprained ankles for a good part of the season, played in 13 games, recording 33 tackles, 14.5 for a loss, and 10.5 sacks. His best outing came in the Big Ten Championship Game against Northwestern, where he collected three tackles for a loss, three sacks and forced a fumble. He finished the season strong in Ohio State’s Rose Bowl game, recording a sack and tackle for a loss.
Entering his true Junior season, at just 20 years old, Young found his name on many preseason national watch-lists. The hype was certainly there and the youngster did not disappoint. He broke the school’s single season sack record formerly held by All-American Vernon Gholston(14 sacks in 2007), recording 16.5 despite missing two games to a suspension. He posted 21 tackles for a loss, forced seven fumbles and even blocked a kick. For his efforts, he was named first-team All-Big Ten, unanimous first-team All-American, and won the Nagurski, Bednarik, Hendricks, Nagurski-Wooden Defensive Player of the Year, and Smith-Brown Defensive Lineman of the Year awards. He was named a finalist for the Heisman Trophy, where he finished fourth.
ESPN Senior Writer and draft analyst Todd McShay has Young as his number one rated draft prospect for the 2020 class. He is the only player to receive a score of at least 95 in ESPN’s rankings.
NFL.com analyst Lance Zierlein has Chase Young as his number one ranked prospect, and has this to say about the Blue-Chipper:
Elite size, length and athleticism created loads of production and a vaulted pro projection, but Young’s set of disruptive properties have yet to be fully weaponized. He’s fairly basic as a pass rusher, with just a couple of go-to moves and an occasional inside counter, and yet he still managed 16.5 sacks in 2019. He has the traits to overwhelm many of the tackles he faces, and it won’t take long for teams to add a bull-rush, a rip-and-run and a stab counter into his repertoire. He plays a little upright at the point of attack, and his ball awareness is below average, but those concerns aren’t enough to counterbalance his range and agility as a run defender. Young possesses superior traits and the ability to wreck and alter offensive game-plans as a perennial All-Pro.
- To break this down a bit, what Zierlein is saying, is that despite still being raw in certain areas of his game, Young is STILL the best player in this draft by a pretty wide margin(cornerback Jeff Okudah is the next closest prospect with a 7.15 rating) with a lot of room to improve. This is scary, and points to how good this young man can actually become.
NFL Media Analyst and former scout Daniel Jeremiah put out his latest Top 50 on April 1st, and surprise, surprise - Chase Young was yet again his number one overall prospect.
Young is a tall, long and athletic defensive end. As a pass rusher, he explodes off the ball and gains ground in a hurry. He uses a quick swipe move and also has the ability to control the wrists of blockers. He can convert speed to power and is effective on loops and games. He does have a little tightness at the top of his rush. Against the run, he sets the edge easily and uses his quickness to slip blocks and create chaos behind the line of scrimmage. Overall, Young is an All-Pro talent, reminiscent of Julius Peppers and Mario Williams.
*Both Zierlein and Jeremiah compare Chase Young to former NFL great and future Hall of Famer Julius Peppers.
So what makes Chase Young so great?
At 6’5” 265 pounds, Young has a unique ability to bend the edge. This is a trait you see in many of the NFL’s elite EDGE defenders, and BEND is something that usually can’t be taught.
Will Fries has ZERO chance of blocking Chase Young one-on-one pic.twitter.com/Qf75tRAyaJ— Mark Tyler(Hogs Haven) (@Tiller56) December 23, 2019
Chase Young showing off the speed and bend...mind you it’s against a slow-footed RT - but still, impressive none-the-less pic.twitter.com/APPGIvTLtN— Mark Tyler(Hogs Haven) (@Tiller56) December 23, 2019
Some of the best EDGE rushers in the NFL are also great at converting speed to power. Here Chase shows that ability as attacks the left tackle’s outside shoulder, then rips through to the inside for the sack.
Here you see young attack the outside shoulder of the OT, then cross his face to get the sack. pic.twitter.com/SaPvzFUL2a— Mark Tyler(Hogs Haven) (@Tiller56) December 23, 2019
No sack here, but great inside pressure by Young working on the freshman LT pic.twitter.com/qBbNCoxJPs— Mark Tyler(Hogs Haven) (@Tiller56) December 23, 2019
Although Chase is still developing as a EDGE defender, here you see him strike the chest of the offensive lineman and slash inside to get in on the tackle.
Great use of hands and speed here by Young pic.twitter.com/eSSFViKJsh— Mark Tyler(Hogs Haven) (@Tiller56) December 23, 2019
Young’s change of direction skills are unique. You don’t often see this ability to plant and re-direct from a 265 pound man.
More on Young: Recognize, plant then redirect. pic.twitter.com/up7hiqJ7Sg— Mark Tyler(Hogs Haven) (@Tiller56) December 23, 2019
Versatility: Here you see Young lining up in the A-Gap as an off-the-ball linebacker. What’s so impressive here, is how fast he gets to his target. What’s MORE impressive is his motor and relentlessness after the football is released to go make the play!
I know some of you who don’t watch a lot of college football were asking about Chase Young, so here is a little montage against two of the best teams he faced all year. pic.twitter.com/76wxGraFKt— Mark Tyler(Hogs Haven) (@Tiller56) December 23, 2019
Although Chase is still young(pun intended), he is a student of the game. He understands what the offense is trying to do, and has the athletic ability to react to, and disrupt plays.
Good play recognition here by Young on the screen pic.twitter.com/8KXlvqd8pl— Mark Tyler(Hogs Haven) (@Tiller56) December 23, 2019
It’s pretty fair to say, that when it comes to NFL prospects, Chase Young is the complete package. So why is it that SOME Redskins’ fans may not want him to be the pick at number two overall?
Here are some of the reasons I have heard from people:
Teams aren’t trying to trade up to number one overall to draft him, so he must not be that good.
This one is just about as funny as it is absurd. First, no one knows who’s doing what, so to say such is just an uneducated guess. Second, trades into the top 5 usually only happen when they are involving a quarterback. It’s not a slight on other players; rather just the nature of the beast.
He’s overrated - just look at how he was shut down against Clemson in the playoffs.
Chase Young had 10 pressures and 4 QB hits in the Fiesta Bowl against Clemson #NFLDraft pic.twitter.com/E882r8f3Y1— Brad Kelly (@BradKelly17) January 13, 2020
He’s a luxury pick - a team with as many NEEDS as the Redskins can’t afford a luxury pick.
This is not some one-year rebuild where the Redskins are just one player away from contending. Ryan Kerrigan is 31 and declining. Ryan Anderson hasn’t shown to be much more than a back-up. The Redskins currently have Montez Sweat and a bunch of question marks.
Half his sacks fell into his lap(meaning he was sometimes the second guy there) or they were coverage sacks.
This may be one of the most lazy narratives from people who don’t watch film, or simply don’t understand what they are watching. Again, I’ll just leave this here in case you missed it above...
Having a great pass rush and an average coverage group doesn’t win Super Bowls.
Having a great quarterback and no receivers to throw to doesn’t win super bowls either. Great defensive backs don’t mean crap if you ask them to try and cover for 8 seconds.
No one player(Chase Young included) is worth the #2 overall pick for this team in the face of a trade-back due to the massive amount of needs.
When have the Redskins become so good that they can afford to pass up on the consensus number one overall prospect? Also, it takes two to tango. If a trade is not offered, or the package is not good enough, YOU TAKE THE BEST PLAYER IN THE DRAFT!
But...having said that - you do “listen” to offers and see if some team blows you away.
People labeling him as “generational” are going to be disappointed when he comes out as has a few “good” seasons.
This one is basically saying that the hype is so great, that Chase is almost destined to fall short - because NO ONE can live up to that sort of hype. It’s an assumption, and a lazy one at that.
We’ve earned pick number two overall from our poor 2019 season. We are not trading the farm to move up to number two. Let’s try not to overthink this.
How do YOU feel about Chase Young? Is he too good to pass up no matter what?