4 Washington Commanders who could move the needle in 2023
By Dean Jones
Chase Young – Commanders DE
There are few players around the league with more on the line than Chase Young in 2023. Once touted as a generational talent at the defensive end position coming out of Ohio State, his injury-ravaged last two seasons have cast significant doubt on whether or not he’ll ever reach the loftiest of ceilings.
The Washington Commanders were banking on Young to do just that when they took him at No. 2 overall. Young won NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2020 but has just 1.5 sacks from 12 games since then – 11 of which he’s started.
This represents a real dilemma for the Commanders, who need to decide whether to trigger Young’s fifth-year option in the coming weeks. It’s a tricky one, especially considering how much they could end up paying the edge rusher if he stays healthy and dominates next time around.
Washington has a ton of talent on the defensive line. Young, Daron Payne, Jonathan Allen, and Montez Sweat have the potential to take the NFL by storm, but this is entirely dependent on whether or not the once-promising pass-rusher can evade the injury bug heading into Year 4 of his professional career.
Should Young accomplish this feat – which is entirely possible with a smooth offseason and extra motivation – then the sky’s the limit for this group. It will also be a major needle mover for the Commanders next season.