Examining Commanders' unhappy draft hunting ground at No. 2 overall

Will general manager Adam Peters have more luck in 2024?
Robert Griffin III
Robert Griffin III / Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
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Chase Young - 2020 NFL Draft

The first piece I ever wrote for Riggo’s Rag was about why they should draft Chase Young with the No. 2 pick in 2020. I’ve been wrong plenty of times, but perhaps never more than with that opinion.

The problem is - everyone thought Young was a can’t-miss defensive end. The only real question was whether the Washington Commanders should pick a quarterback instead. Most thought the generational pass-rusher represented the best value.

After a good rookie season, Young suffered a bad injury in 2021 which impacted both his second and third campaigns. He also seemed to clash with his defensive coaches who considered him undisciplined. This was the same problem that Lavar Arrington had with his staff.

There is a difference between Lavar and Young. Why Gregg Williams wouldn’t turn Arrington loose is a mystery. He was highly productive when allowed to freelance. The same is not true of Young.

He made plays occasionally, but not enough to warrant the freedom Young seems to want. It turns out that the former Ohio State phenom simply wasn’t as special as initially thought.

He’s a good player, but there are lots of good edge forces out there. When a player is picked No. 2 overall, they need to be cornerstone pieces. The evaluation of Young suggested he was such a player. It now appears that this evaluation was wrong.

Young was traded midway through his fourth season with the Commanders for a third-round pick in 2024. Of Washington’s five No. 2 picks in franchise history, only Arrington lasted more than four seasons with the team - and he only made it through six.

Hopefully, whoever Adam Peters takes this year will have a better run.