The Washington Football Team will have their work cut out for them when they welcome the Los Angeles Chargers to FedEx Field on Sunday.
With Justin Herbert looking to build off a sensational rookie season, countless experts have labeled the Chargers as a sleeper playoff team.
Though the AFC is loaded, you have to think LA’s luck in one-score games will change. Seriously how many times did you look up at the NFL scoreboard on Sunday’s and see the Chargers entrenched in a close game late in the fourth quarter?
Anyway, back to Herbert. Ahead of this matchup, ESPN gathered some of its NFL experts to debate whether the Football Team should’ve drafted Herbert over Young with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 draft.
Of the seven analysts, five sided with Herbert being the better pick/fit. Knowing how Young feeds off being disrespected, you kind of get the feeling he’s going to be out for blood against Herbert and the Chargers on Sunday.
Stop debating whether the Football Team should’ve drafted Justin Hebert over Chase Young last year.
This conversation was bound to be provoked with the Football Team and Chargers locking horns in Week 1. With Herbert drafted just four picks after Young at No. 6 overall, the comparisons (fair or not) will always be there from Washington’s perspective given they still don’t have a long-term answer at quarterback.
For those curious, we believe Young was the right pick. He’s a local kid (born in Maryland) and is a perfect fit with a defensive-minded coach in Ron Rivera.
You also have to remember that the Football Team drafted Dwayne Haskins No. 15 overall the year prior. Though that marriage didn’t work out, Rivera wanted to give Haskins every chance to prove that he should be Washington’s QB of the future.
Even if Haskins didn’t pop as a rookie, spending a first-round pick on a quarterback in back-to-back years would be franchise malpractice, especially when a transcendent pass rusher in Young was sitting there waiting to be picked.
Let’s not forget how much Washington fans rejoiced after they lost “the Chase Young game” vs the Giants to essentially clinch the No. 2 overall pick. The reaction was so profound that you would’ve thought they just won a playoff game. Imagine having that kind of impact on a city before even playing an NFL game?
While Hebert has top-five upside and enjoyed an incredible rookie year, who’s to say he would’ve been THIS good with the Football Team? The fact he stayed on the West Coast (he was born in Oregon and went on to play for the Ducks) has clearly played a role in his success, whether his apologists would like to admit it or not.
We’re not taking anything away from Herbert. We just refuse to believe that Young wasn’t the right pick for Washington at the time. He’s helped spearhead a much-needed culture turnaround and is already a star at his position.
Fans are right to have questions about Washington’s QB situation beyond this season, but don’t let that make you lose sight of the fact that Young was this franchise’s greatest draft pick since Ryan Kerrigan back in 2011.