The future of the NFL is in good hands.
Between the plethora of ascending quarterback talents, including Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson, Justin Herbert and Joe Burrow, and several other superstar-caliber players at other positions, the league will be just fine once all-time greats like Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Julio Jones, Cam Heyward and Bobby Wagner call it a career.
The Washington Commanders are a big reason for that. From Terry McLaurin, Jonathan Allen, Chase Young, Kendall Fuller, Montez Sweat, Daron Payne, Sam Cosmi and Kam Curl, the Commanders have several players who are just entering their primes or are well on their way to becoming stars.
It’s tough to say who has the brightest future of that bunch, but Young’s likely the favorite considering he just turned 23 years old in April and already has a Defensive Rookie of the Year award and Pro Bowl nod on his resume.
It appears Pro Football Focus would agree with that assessment.
In a recent article, analyst Trevor Sikkema ranked the top 25 players in the league who are under the age of 25. Luckily for Sikkema’s Twitter mentions, he rightly included Young smack in the middle of the ranking at No. 13.
Commanders star Chase Young cracked Pro Football Focus’ ranking of the top 25 NFL players under the age of 25.
Here are the players listed ahead of Young.
- Nick Bosa
- Justin Herbert
- Jonathan Taylor
- Tristan Wirfs
- Justin Jefferson
- Micah Parsons
- Ja’Marr Chase
- Jeffery Simmons
- AJ Terrell
- DK Metcalf
- Rashan Gary
- Maxx Crosby
That’s pretty impressive company for Young, who would undoubtedly rank higher if he didn’t suffer a torn ACL coming out of the bye in Week 10. Though he underwhelmed before the injury, the entire defense broke out of its slump in the second half and there’s reason to believe Young would’ve done the same after he managed just 1.5 sacks and four quarterback hits in eight games.
"“In his first game as a pro, Young recorded 1.5 sacks, four tackles and a forced fumble. In the games that followed, he earned Defensive Rookie of the Year with 44 tackles, 7.5 sacks and four forced fumbles,” Sikkema said of Young. “All of that led to a very impressive 87.1 overall PFF grade. Unfortunately, the season that followed was not as productive. Young recorded just 1.5 sacks in nine games before tearing his ACL in Week 10.”“Young said the plan is to be ready for Week 1 coming off his injury. A Bosa-like bounce-back third year for him is within the realm of possibility. In that case, he would rapidly climb this list.”"
At the end of the day, there’s no shame in ranking behind these players, each of whom are household names or close to it. The top seven and DK Metcalf for sure fall under that category, while Simmons, Terrell, Gary and Crosby are quietly some of the best players at defensive tackle, cornerback and edge rusher.
Even more impressive is the list of players Young ranked ahead of. You’re talking about Rashawn Slater, Brian Burns, CeeDee Lamb, Tee Higgins, Patrick Surtain, Trevor Lawrence, Kyle Pitts and Trevon Diggs, among others.
While this publicity is great for Young and the Commanders, his third season will determine if he’s regarded as a star moving forward, as he’s now two years removed from getting drafted second overall as a generational talent and living up to the hype with an outstanding rookie campaign.