The Washington Redskins made Ohio State defensive end Chase Young the first defender off the board in this year’s draft at No. 2 overall – passing up QB Tua Tagovailoa. Here are Young’s odds at Mybookie to win 2020 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year as well as the Redskins’ over/under win total.
Washington reportedly had offers from multiple teams for the No. 2 overall pick, most likely to take Tua, but the Skins stayed up and took the highest-rated overall player in Young. In fact, he’s considered the highest-rated pass rushing end in years.
Young as a highly-touted recruit out of Maryland and committed to Ohio State in July 2016, choosing them over other schools such as Alabama and Maryland due to Buckeyes defensive line coach Larry Johnson, who personally recruited him and whom Young considered a guru as well as the school’s overall approach that he felt was more “family-oriented.”
Young was not a starter as a freshman as he was behind another future very high draft pick in Nick Bosa. Young recorded 3.5 sacks, 18 tackles, and a forced fumble as a reserve. He was a starter in 2018 opposite Bosa and had 10.5 sacks despite spraining both ankles during the season. He had three sacks in the win over Northwestern in the Big Ten title game.
Eight Ohio State players have had at least 10 sacks in a season. Jason Simmons broke into double digits first with 10.5 sacks in 1991. Vernon Gholston, Joey Bosa, Mike Vrabel, Andy Katzenmoyer, Matt Finkes, Will Smith and Young. Only one player – Vrabel – has reached 10 sacks in multiple seasons … until Young in 2019.
He led the nation with a school-record 16.5 sacks despite missing two games due to suspension and was second in the country in forced fumbles. Young was a Heisman Trophy finalist, finishing fourth, the ninth defensive player out of 159 total finalists since 1982. He was also a unanimous All-American, won the Bednarik Award, Bronko Nagurski Trophy and Ted Hendricks Award, and was Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year.
Young anchored an Ohio State defense that ranked among the nation’s Top 5 statistically in six major categories, including No. 1 in total defense (259.7 yards per game), No. 2 in passing yardage (156.0 yards per game), red zone scores (66 pct.) and pass efficiency (97.50) and No. 4 in scoring (13.7 points per game).
In addition, Young was named the Big Ten Male Athlete of the Year this week. He is only the 10th Buckeye to win the award and just the second football player. He joins former wrestlers Kyle Snyder (2017, 2018) and Logan Stieber (2015), basketball player Evan Turner (2010), gymnast Blaine Wilson (1997) and Heisman Trophy winner Eddie George (1996).
Young finished second in school history (to Vrabel, who had 36.0 sacks and 245 sack yards) with 31.0 career sacks and 211 sack yards and had 99 career tackles, including 42.5 TFLs and 239 TFL yards, figures that rank 11th and fifth, respectively, at Ohio State.
The 6-foot-5 Young is the third OSU defensive end picked in the Top 3 in the past five drafts, joining Joey Bosa (No. 3 overall) in 2016 and Nick Bosa (No. 2 overall) in 2019. Young is considered a better pro prospect than either – and both Bosa brothers have been terrific NFL players and both won NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.
While it’s easy to compare Young to the Bosa brother, a better comp is likely future Hall of Famer Julius Peppers. Young 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. Even Young’s former head coach at Ohio State, Ryan Day, called him a “generational talent.”
Bleacher Report’s Gary Davenport believes that Young will make in instant impact: “I believe Chase Young is going to break Jevon Kearse’s rookie sack record of 14.5. Fifteen sacks as a rookie. … I don’t know that I can remember a guy who’s this complete of a package.”