4. The Reality Is, if the pass-rush can’t get home, this will be a long day for the Football Team.
Chase Young is a stud. He’s the reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year. He’s the best individual defensive player Washington has had since Sean Taylor and will very likely produce multiple All-Pro or Defensive Player of the Year seasons in his career. With that said, a redraft of the 2020 draft today would easily have Justin Herbert picked by Washington instead of Chase Young. That’s no knock on Young. It’s simply an acknowledgment of how valuable a franchise quarterback is and how well Herbert played last season.
But hindsight is 20/20, and Washington wasn’t alone in questioning whether Hebert was truly a franchise quarterback. While they probably did the right thing in picking Young given what they knew at the time, Washington needs Young to be more than just solid. They need him to be transcendent. A “good” pass rusher isn’t worth the No. 2 pick in the draft. Young has a unique opportunity this week, just like he did against Joe Burrow last season, to show his worth in a head-to-head matchup against a quarterback taken near him in the draft. Last year, he made his case:
If Young makes a play like that this week against Herbert and the Chargers, it’s hard to imagine it not leading to a Washington win. And it would be exactly the kind of start Young needs if he’s going to leap into the DPOY discussion this season.
Between Young, Montez Sweat, Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne, Matt Ioannidis, and Tim Settle, Washington absolutely must put constant pressure on Justin Herbert and his revamped offensive line. Speaking of Herbert, he looks to be the real deal, but the sophomore slump is a real possibility whenever a young QB has two offensive coordinators in his first two seasons.
Prediction: Chase Young wins this round, making some splash plays and rattling Justin Herbert into some poor decisions.