Commanders DE Chase Young's importance
As previously stated, the Washington Commanders will be heavily reliant on their defense in 2023 until Eric Bieniemy's offense shows the consistency needed over a prolonged period. This bears more significance for their defensive line, which is loaded with first-round talent and is also getting Chase Young back healthy.
It's been a difficult two seasons thanks to injury complications for Young. The Commanders didn't pick up his fifth-year option as a result, but they are not giving up on their defensive end by any stretch of the imagination.
Young should be highly motivated to silence some increasing doubters and give the Commanders a nice headache next spring. Doug Wasserman from Pro Football Focus even went as far as to name the former Ohio State standout as Washington's most important player outside of quarterback Sam Howell in 2023.
"If the Commanders are going to make a playoff push this season, their talented defense will be the primary reason. Young, the most talented player of the group, needs to bounce back after returning from a knee injury late last season. [Chase] Young has all the tools to be a great pass rusher. He showed as much in his only full season in 2020, parlaying an 87.4 overall grade into a Defensive Rookie of the Year award. His injury derailed his ascent to elite status, but he’s still just 24 years old. He has the talent to get there and turn Washington’s defense into an elite unit. The Commanders have a slew of solid pass rushers. A healthy Chase Young should be better than all of them."- Doug Wasserman, Pro Football Focus
Staying on the field is the key component for Young. If he can do this, the numbers should follow working alongside high-level performers such as Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne, and Montez Sweat on arguably the best defensive front in football.