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The 5 O’Clock Club: The biggest mistake in the 2020 Draft

It’s 5 o’clock somewhere…

NFL: NOV 08 Giants at Washington Football Team Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The 5 o’clock club is published from time to time during the season, and aims to provide a forum for reader-driven discussion at a time of day when there isn’t much NFL news being published. Feel free to introduce topics that interest you in the comments below.

The 2020 Draft

Here are the first 15 picks in the 2020 draft:

There are a few swings and misses in there along with a few home runs.

In the lead up to the 2020 draft, Washington fans were mostly in one of 3 camps:

  • Draft Chase Young
  • Draft Tua Tagovailoa
  • Trade back and pick Isaiah Simmons or the best player available

Of course, Washington drafted Young, and in his rookie season that looked like a great decision. In 2020, Young won the Defensive Rookie of the Year award. He had 44 tackles, including 10 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks, 4 passes defended, 4 forced fumbles, and 3 fumble recoveries, one for a touchdown.

Everything since that time has left fans wondering if Chase Young will ever live up to his potential. He skipped the 2021 OTAs because he was busy ‘making money’, and then got off to a slow start, with 3 tackles for loss, 4 QB hits and 1.5 sacks in 9 games.

Then he ripped his knee apart in the Week 10 game against Tampa Bay.

His recovery was not necessarily slow, but fans got a bit frustrated by the lack of clarity about when he would return. Young returned to the field in Week 15 of the ‘22 season, but he didn’t look like he was quite ‘ready for prime time’. He struggled a bit and did not look confident in the knee. In three games, he had no sacks, 1 QB hit, and 5 tackles for loss. He defended one pass, but was not involved in any turnovers.

The Commanders refused Young’s 5th year option, which, in effect, puts the 4th year defensive end into a ‘contract year’ in 2023. The team let Daron Payne play out his option year in 2022 rather than extending him before the season, and when Payne balled out, he was rewarded with a lucrative contract in March.

It would appear that Chase Young has the same opportunity. If he excels this season, then he could have the opportunity to cash in like Jon Allen, Terry McLaurin and Daron Payne have done. On the other hand, another disappointing season will put him well down the path to becoming the next Jadeveon Clowney.

Two Ohio State alumni — ESPN’s John Keim and Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer — talk about Chase Young’s outlook in 2023 as he continues his comeback from a devastating 2021 knee injury

Despite being at an apparent watershed moment in his career, Chase Young was not at voluntary OTAs when they kicked off this week. The word ‘voluntary’ can’t be ignored, but then, neither can expectations that great players and great leaders understand the value of, not only hard work, but also perception.

Check out DraftKings Sportsbook, the official sportsbook partner of SB Nation.

In a recent nationwide Reacts email survey, NFL fans were asked which team made the biggest error in the NFL draft.

Nearly two-thirds of the respondents said that the selection of Jeff Okudah by the Lions was the most tragic mistake, but roughly a quarter of those responding felt that the selection of Chase Young at #2 overall was the worst decision by a team in the 2020 draft.

The 2023 season offers #99 the opportunity to change that perspective, and that effort will begin with the offseason program — but apparently, only when the sessions are mandatory.


Knowing what you know now, which of the following players would you have selected for the Washington Football Team in the 2020 draft?

This poll is closed

  • 3%
    Still Chase Young
    (35 votes)
  • 4%
    OT Andrew Thomas
    (49 votes)
  • 90%
    QB Justin Herbert
    (979 votes)
  • 1%
    LB Isaiah Simmons
    (15 votes)
  • 0%
    DB CJ Henderson
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    WR Jerry Jeudy
    (3 votes)
1083 votes total Vote Now