Ron Rivera is continuing to hype up Chase Young and compared him to two All-Pros on Monday night.
The Washington Redskins spent the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft on a player who was rated as the top overall player on many big boards. Chase Young, an edge rusher from Ohio State, was the pick and he will help the Redskins continue to build on their strong defensive line and pass rush.
There has been a lot of hype for Young ahead of his rookie season. And rightfully so. After all, he did log a whopping 16.5 sacks last season for the Buckeyes as a junior and was a catalyst in the team’s run to the College Football Playoff. He did well to put pressure on Clemson in that contest and helped keep Ohio State close in the narrow defeat.
The expectations may be high for Young, but it seems that he’s a safe bet to live up to them. And it seems that Redskins head coach Ron Rivera is particularly bullish on Young’s future. As detailed by Redskins.com’s Kyle Stackpole, Rivera compared Young to two All-Pro pass rushers: Julius Peppers and Von Miller.
These are certainly notable players to bring up in relation to Young. As Stackpole mentioned, both were the No. 2 overall picks in their draft classes, like Young, and won Defensive Rookie of the Year awards. So, perhaps Young will be able to fit into the same archetypal mold as those two.
Rivera has enough perspective to make these comparisons significant. While Rivera hasn’t coached Miller during his career, he did coach Peppers during the final two years of his storied career. Under Rivera, Peppers produced 16 sacks and four forced fumbles despite operating mostly as a pass rushing specialist coming off the bench. And this came during Peppers’ age 37 and 38 seasons, so it’s fair to wonder what Rivera may have been able to get out of Peppers in his prime.
Now, we may have a chance to find out. Rivera will try to tap into Young’s Peppers-like talent and make him the league’s next great pass rusher. But if an accomplished defensive coach like Rivera believes in Young that much, it’s surely a good sign.
And if Young’s rookie season is anything like that of Peppers or Miller, the Redskins should be pleased. Here’s a look at what each pass rusher achieved as a rookie.
Peppers (2002): 12 games (12 starts), 36 tackles, 12 sacks, 11 tackles for loss, five forced fumbles, six pass defenses, one interception
Miller (2011): 15 games (15 starts), 64 tackles, 11.5 sacks, 19 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles, four pass defenses
It will be interesting to see what Young can accomplish as a rookie. But if he can near double-digit sacks like Peppers and Miller or at least generate a lot of pressure as those two did, he should have a profound impact on the team’s already strong defensive line.