Redskins: Chase Young’s dominance confirmed by former opponents
By Ian Cummings
The Redskins should certainly keep their options open at No. 2 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft, but if they already decided on Chase Young, no one would blame them for it.
All throughout the draft process, Washington Redskins prospect and former Ohio State edge rusher Chase Young has been heralded as the best prospect in the 2020 NFL Draft, and one of the best edge rushers to come out in recent memory. Some have set out to look for holes in Young’s resume, but there simply aren’t many bad things to say about him.
That said, the NFL Draft hype machine has a habit of blowing things out of proportion, and Young being an elite prospect has turned into “Young is the best edge rusher to come out in 25 years”. The latter statement isn’t true; it’s a product of hype. In a few years, there may be another prospect who draws similarities to Young as a “generational” prospect. But that’s no reason to penalize Young. He doesn’t have to be generational to be a dominant prospect with game-changing upside. And some of his former opponents can attest to that.
A recent ESPN article by Tom VanHaaren and Adam Rittenberg compiled an assortment of quotes from coaches and players across the NCAA who drew Young in collegiate competition at various points. The quotes do a good job of confirming what tape study taught us: Chase Young is indeed an elite talent at a position of great value, who could change the complexion of the Redskins entire defense from Day 1. Here are some of the best, most informative quotes from the piece:
Opponent Quotes on Ohio State EDGE Chase Young
Indiana coach Tom Allen: “Gosh, everything we try to do, he seems to defeat us. It’s like in an action movie. You have a plan to take care of this thing you can’t destroy, you think you have him, and then, boom, he comes right through the flames.”
“Any time you have a guy like that, who is so disruptive, he can basically single-handedly destroy your pass game, he can disrupt your run game. There are only a few of those guys where you say we need to know where he is at all times and if you leave him one-on-one with a guy, it’s over.”
Northwestern offensive line coach Kurt Anderson: “He’s got all the tools of an edge rusher that make you have to game plan a little bit for him, because he can change the course of a game with one strip sack, a critical third-down type of deal that makes the quarterback move and throws the timing off of deep routes. I’ve been fortunate that I’ve been able to coach in the NFL and see some of these elite edge rushers. Coached in the SEC against Myles Garrett. He reminded me of somebody like that.”
Anonymous Power 5 coordinator: “Part of [Ohio State’s] whole deal with [Chase Young] is wanting you to put so much attention on him. They wanted you last year to divert all of your attention to how you could put together a game plan or protect for him so you could have less people out in routes. If you put your back in, they’re playing seven guys in coverage against your four eligible receivers because you’re losing your running back on routes, so it played a specific advantage to them.”
Cincinnati offensive lineman Chris Ferguson: “When I watch film, I like to watch the third quarter or early fourth. You really start to see how guys play, because you’re tired and that’s when your tendencies come out. What I saw on tape, straight through he was quick-twitch and still going. His best move was a double swipe, so I tried to hand-fight him and not give him my hands or commit to one move.”
“He doesn’t show much emotion. Even my running back, Mike Warren, he was talking to him the whole game and all Chase did was give him a little smirk. He’s a hell of a football player. He’s going to make some NFL team happy.”
Wisconsin offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph: “As simple as it was, the most unique part of him was how quickly he got up the field. When you watch him and you see his first step and you see how much ground he covers on his first step, he does a great job of working on timing the snap count and using all the information he can pre-snap to be as quick as he can off the ball.”
Former Penn State coach Matt Limegrover: “He got a sack against us where our tackle never even had a chance. We were down on the 7-yard line, we were in the horseshoe area of the stadium, the place was just insane. You can see it, ball’s snapped, he’s two steps going and our tackle’s just starting to take his first step.”
Nebraska offensive line coach Greg Austin: “I’m so glad his ass left early.”
If you’re looking for me to pour a bucket of cold water on this party, I’m sorry, but I can’t help. I watched Young about a month ago, and I came to the conclusion that his impact on a per-play basis is unmatched in this class. He generates quality pressure with treacherous consistency, and his combination of abrupt explosiveness, bend, hand usage, and speed around the edge forces teams to severely compensate for his presence. Young puts immense pressure on every offense he faces, and that’s a valuable quality that not many edge rushers have.
Young isn’t the only prospect with elite upside in the 2020 NFL Draft, and the Redskins have some options at No. 2, or in a theoretical trade back, that would better fill immediate needs. But Young provides such a sure combination of immediate utility and long-term upside that he has to be the favorite, for a team at the start of a rebuild. At the end of the day, you make your own decision. But football minds and draft analysts are generally in agreement: Chase Young is a game wrecker.