Chase Young Draft Profile & Video Analysis: #1 Defensive Player Prospect

The best defensive prospect for the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft is Chase Young. He ranked 4th in Heisman voting, and dominated over his Sophomore and Junior year at Ohio State. Just a year after Nick Bosa came from Ohio State going number one, Young is projected to go second overall to the Washington Redskins. If Joe Burrow didn’t put up one of the best college seasons of all time, we would have likely seen Young go first overall. By the time Young was ready to sign to a college, he had 41 offers, and was recognized as the 7th best overall prospect, and second at the position. He will enter the draft at 6’5″ and sits around 265 lbs. Young looks to be one of the safer defensive prospects over the last several years, and has very few weaknesses to his game. With Washington likely being his destination, he will immediately make a difference on that defensive line.

College Production

YearClassGSoloAstTotLossSkIntPDFRFF
2017FR9117185.03.50001
2018SO132593414.510.50501
2019JR1232144621.016.50307
Career3468309840.530.50809

Chase Young was an absolute monster at Ohio State. He played nine games in his Freshman year, where his snaps were a bit limited. His Sophomore and Junior year was where he really broke out. He had 26.5 sacks over his final two seasons, and 35.5 tackles for loss. Young also has a knock for forcing turnovers, and had seven forced fumbles last season. He led the Big Ten in sacks in back-to-back seasons, and in 2019 led the NCAA in sacks. He was also first in forced fumbles. The accolade room is already building up. He was awarded the Ted Hendricks award, which is the Defensive End of the Year award. Young also took home the Defensive Player of the Year award, and of course was the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year.

Video Breakdown

At 0:03, you can see Chase Young’s flat out speed to get around the edge. Any slower offensive lineman is going to have trouble dealing with his speed. His ability to wrap up the quarterback is also not talked about enough, where we have seen many defensive ends at times blow past making the tackle. On a read-style run at 0:58, Young beats his man with ease, finds the ball, and wraps up the ball carrier. He has excellent awareness and rarely will make the wrong read. We see more of that awareness at 1:46 on a wide receiver screen, as Young gets out of the block and gets to the ball carrier. This is the first time we see Young use his speed to get inside. At 2:18 he finds the gap and uses his quickness to record another sack. You don’t get seven forced fumbles by accident. Young is exceptional at looking to take a swipe at the football, and you can see that at 2:35. There is another example at 4:22. There are a few instances in the video where Young’s presence opens up opportunity for the rest of the defense.

Pros

 

  • Speed Off Edge
  • Numerous Pass-Rush Moves
  • Quick First Step
  • Snap Timing
  • Hand Movement
  • High Motor
  • Battles As Run Defender
  • Awareness On Screens
  • Opens Opportunity For Other Lineman
  • Excellent Footwork
  • Reads Plays Well
  • Forcing Turnovers

A lot of Chase Young’s pros you can see in the video above. He has an electric first step that gives a lot of offensive lineman trouble. When he gets locked up for a quick second, his hand technique unlocks him quickly. Young’s various pass-rushing moves are going to make him an excellent defensive end at the next level. He has exceptional timing and can read snap counts well. Teams will be pleased with him and his high motor. He tracks back to the runner well, and is always looking to get to the ball carrier. While he won’t see as many lateral runs as the next level, his awareness and nose for the ball have him highly rated in that department. With him likely heading to Washington, they had a pretty solid pass rush, but his presence is going to bring them to the next level. Young looks extremely comfortable in a lot of different areas in the game. He has no issue entering different gaps, and letting the play develop first. At 6’5 and with his length, he is also looking to bat down balls.

Cons

  • Zone Coverage
  • Could Add Some Muscle For NFL Level

There really isn’t a ton of cons to Young’s game. He works well in the screen game, but if there were any expectations about him dropping into coverage in the flat at times, he might struggle a bit. It is not something he was asked to do in college, and I wouldn’t expect those play designs for him at the NFL. Young won’t be able to blow by everybody in the league with his speed, and will need to add some muscle to be able to shed blocks with a bit more ease. This is not really a huge concern, but would take him to an even higher level.

NFL Comparison

Danielle Hunter – Minnesota Vikings

Danielle Hunter came into league back in 2015 out of LSU, and was drafted in the third round. Certainly a difference from where Young is going to go, but there are a ton of similarities. Hunter is a slimmer and quick defensive end, who also sits at 6’5″. He has a tremendous pass rush, quick hands, and various moves to give opposing offensive lineman trouble. Hunter works extremely hard to find ball carriers and wraps up well.

In the gif to the left, we can see a bit of both in Young’s game. He is extremely quick and get to the outside with ease. Dak Prescott is a mobile quarterback, and Hunter shows off the athleticism in chasing him down with that high motor as well. Young has showcased that at the college level, and we should expect more of that at the NFL level. Hunter has already broken out to a tremendous start in the NFL, sitting with over 50 sacks in 78 career games.

Best/Worst Fit

Chase Young works best in a 4-3 style defense, and Washington is going to change from a 3-4 to a 4-3 with Jack Del Rio and Ron Rivera now settled in for the long run. A change could not have happened at a more perfect time. That being said, Young in a 3-4 would have struggled a bit more. There would have been more of a need for him to add some strength and bulk to a 3-4 defense.

Skill Ratings + Breakdown

IQ – 9 

Young shows an extremely high football IQ, where he has great instincts to find the football. He can play laterally, reading plays well and in the moment. Developing multiple pass rushing techniques, and when to use them is also a gift that he has. Young made quite the leap in timing snaps, where he struggled in 2018, but was elite in 2019.

Tackling – 8

There is a lot that factors into Young’s tackling ability, outside of his range and wingspan. He is seemingly in the right place at the right time, has a high motor, and his agility helps out quite a bit. Throughout Young’s college career, if you were in his reach, you were likely not leaving.

Pass Rush – 9

With excess techniques at his disposal,  a high motor, and excellent timing off the line, Young is the top pass rusher in the class and it isn’t even close. Young mostly uses his quickness to go outside, but can also work inside and shoot the gap. His hand technique is excellent, and has solid extension.

Run Defense – 8

Young is smart defender, which helps him read zone run plays and also anticipate runs before the snap. Unlike some of the other edge rushers in this class, Young is excellent against the run. He will also help out in contain. We focus on his pass rush, but he is also going to make a difference in the run game as well.

Athleticism – 9

Whether he is working inside or out, his speed is next level. He is also extremely agile, and can work left and right without skipping a beat. He is a true athlete, and it shows. Off the line he has great footwork, and that quick step gives a lot of trouble to opposing offensive line.

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Jason Guilbault is the Brand Content Manager for Lineups.com, powered by Catena Media. He has worked 10+ in the sports betting & iGaming space as a writer and content manager. Jason has also written for DailyFantasyCafe, NBAMockDraft, & FantasyPros. He aims to bring the best sports data & insight to the industry for both novice & advanced users.

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