The consensus five-star recruit out of Maryland’s DeMartha Catholic High School was ranked as a top 10 player in the country throughout his high school years. His hometown school, University of Maryland, was among 39 other programs that tried desperately to persuade Young to play for them, but to no avail. Ultimately, the beckoning of Urban Meyer and “THE” Ohio State Buckeyes was too strong to resist. USA Today High School Sports quoted Young as saying “I want to go into criminal justice and they have a program.”
Young’s ability on the football field is tremendous, but his ability to mask his motives is slightly less cunning. Ironic, you would think someone claiming to want to pursue criminal justice would be able to tell a white lie more adroitly. Young is going to have to do a lot better than that to convince me he chose to go to one of the greatest programs in the history of college football based on their criminal justice program, but that is beside the point. The bottom line is: if you put his monster production next to his freakish athleticism, you have got yourself a top-five pick.
His Numbers Do NOT Lie
- 2019 (PFF Grade: 96.1)
- Sacks: 16.5
- Forced Fumbles: 6
- Hits: 7
- Hurries: 31
- Snaps: 576
- 2018 (PFF Grade: 88.6)
- Sacks: 10.5
- Forced Fumbles: 1
- Hits: 14
- Hurries: 50
- 2017 (PFF Grade: 80.7)
- Sacks: 3.5
- Forced Fumbles: 1
- Hits: 0
- Hurries: 14
- Snaps: 196
Young claimed the top spot on my big board, and when describing him, I stated that “A big misconception made by casual fans is to judge an edge rusher based on their sack total as opposed to their pressure rate. Luckily, that misconception won’t matter much when evaluating Chase Young.” Young transcends the box score as well as the advanced analytics. I do not love the term “Blue Chip Prospect” because there is no surefire prospect, but Young is as sure as it gets.
In my scouting report of Jalen Reagor, I often found myself making excuses for his radically inconsistent production. Although I said repeatedly that I did not believe it was entirely Reagors’s fault, when it comes to a player like Young, it is comforting to know those question marks don’t exist. Fundamentally speaking, that’s what teams want with their top picks, comfort!
Smart teams do not bargain with their top picks. The risk: reward ratio is not favorable enough for an organization to hand the keys to their franchise to a high ceiling, low floor type of player. As shown in the consistent increase in production, Young is the furthest thing from a bargain.
Year upon year he has improved his craft as he’s taken on a bigger organizational role in the Buckeyes’ system, and has flourished. In his freshman year, he made a big impact on the little opportunity he was given.
Starting DE • Chase Young • #2
Sophomore from Upper Marlboro, Maryland
Former 5 Star recruit
6 TFL and 3.5 Sacks as a true freshman last year. pic.twitter.com/LDOGhBZmqE
— #GoBucks (@LetsGoBuckeyes) August 21, 2018
Fast forward to sophomore year, where Young saw exactly four times as many snaps as he did the previous year, and he tripled his sacks with a spike in his hits and hurries.
A little snippet of #OhioState DE Chase Young's best pass rushes from his 2018 Sophomore campaign.
5 PD pic.twitter.com/Pyc5NlkHWV
— Steve Frederick (@_SteveFrederick) May 28, 2019
Many had reason to be skeptical of his sophomore season due to the dominance of the reigning NFL Defensive Rookie of The Year Nick Bosa, who was playing opposite him most of the year. With Bosa being drafted that offseason, Young responded to the skepticism the following year with an even more impressive showcase than Bosa the previous year.
Although he did not match his own hits and hurries from the previous year, he saw a huge uptick in his sack numbers. In conjunction with the statistical superiority, PFF has his junior year ranked as the highest-graded season for any edge defender in the history of their grading system. The beautiful harmony of raw statistics with advanced analytics show indeed that the numbers do NOT lie!
— Ohio State on BTN (@OhioStateOnBTN) September 21, 2019
Young’s unique mix of elite dexterity, acceleration, brute strength, size, and agility consistently leaves nothing to be desired.
I like Joe Burrow but Chase Young is the best player in this class and it’s not even close.
This one play highlights everything that makes Chase an elite prospect:
– Elite get off/snap anticipation.
– Knee bend and hip flex is +++
– Active hands
– Flattens his rush
Just wow pic.twitter.com/i3NvtjswiV
— Luke Grant (@LukeGrant7) March 14, 2020
Standing at 6’5” 265lbs, Young has the perfect height-to-weight balance that evaluators and fellow defensive ends salivate over. Young, the sinister concoction of the defensive football gods, has the physical stature to frighten your offensive line and coaching staff alike. Oftentimes people see an edge defender with Young’s body type and assume they have weak grappling skills. When Young gets underneath your offensive tackle, you best believe he is getting forklifted.
Ohio State’s DLs got extra work after practice: Co-DC Greg Mattison, DL coach Larry Johnson and GA Kenny Anunike led junior DE Chase Young, junior DT Haskell Garrett, senior DE Jonathon Cooper, redshirt freshman DE Javontae Jean-Baptiste and freshman DE Zach Harrison on the sled. pic.twitter.com/e9KSe1oEbK
— Garrett Stepien (@GarrettStepien) March 8, 2019
An underrated aspect of Young’s game that may fly over the layman’s head is his understanding of his own body, which in turn helps him optimize his play on the gridiron. One example of this is his recognition that using one arm in both passing and rushing situations is more effective than using two. Another example of this is his uncanny ability to keep balance through contact. If he doesn’t win clean, rest assured he will win regardless.
Chase Young’s get off is just insane
71 never even got a hand on him before the bend pic.twitter.com/i1KhPkRzKo
— Trevor Sikkema (@TampaBayTre) November 23, 2019
The culmination of his physical tools along with his ability to use those tools properly breeds a player who will have an immediate impact at the next level. In terms of his pass-rushing ability, there is no weakness as he possesses all the tangible and intangible qualities needed to succeed. However, if that still was not enough to convince you of his upside, here is a video of him conducting the Ohio State band with extreme grace.
Chase Young, the band director 😂 pic.twitter.com/ezkRUHTOlV
— Barstool OSU (@BarstoolOSU) November 30, 2019
This section will be remarkably short because quite frankly, Chase Young is a near-perfect prospect with minimal holes in his game. His pass-rushing ability is unparalleled to anyone in college football, maybe in its history. However, he does have a tendency to leave his chest exposed by widening his hands in the run game.
That is it. That is the only issue I could find in his game.
A potential hindrance to matching his college production on the pro level may be that he will not be in a scheme that is as favorable towards the pass rush as that of the Buckeyes’. That being said, it is not a slight on him in any way, shape, or form. Hypothetically, if he entered a scheme that was not as favorable to his game as the one Buckeyes use, it is the organization’s job to fix that. He is too good, and they will have invested too much in him for him to underperform by their doing.
Where He Belongs
I believe the Redskins should narrow their quarterback room to Dwayne Haskins and Tua Tagovailoa, having them fight for top dog. Unfortunately, the trade for Kyle Allen killed off any hype for them bringing in another quarterback, so that leaves the Redskins taking the best player available, Chase Young. I believe a wise move for the Redskins would be to trade down a slot or two, and collect extra draft capital whilst still being able to snag Young. Nonetheless, good organizations don’t tend to be picking at two in the first place so I’m not expecting anything shocking from them. The Redskins have been stocking up defensive lineman for years, and the addition of Young to pair with a promising second-year player like Montez Sweat can only amount to great things!