A new chapter is being written in Washington. Under the tutelage of Ron Rivera, the Redskins hope to change trajectory of a franchise that has been floundering on and off the field in recent years. The first order of business under the new regime will be to select the most capable prospect from the 2020 draft. One both Rivera and the fans hope will be a cornerstone for the franchise for years to come. The consensus is that man of the hour will be Chase Young.
Young, after terrorizing Big 10 offenses in 2019, established himself as one of the cant-miss prospects in this year’s draft garnering comparison to the likes of Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney, it isn’t any wonder that most mock drafts have Young off the board within the first 3 picks. Luckily for Washington, they find themselves in a position where Chase Young coming off the edge for their defense may be a reality.
The Ohio State product had a breakout 2019 campaign amassing 21 tackles for loss, 7 forced fumbles, and led the nation with 16.5 sacks. Opposing teams couldn’t help but be in awe of his production and presence on the field. ‘We did all we could, man’, said Wisconsin Offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph to ESPN. Rudolph spoke on the difficulty in preparing for Young’s constant threat off the edge: ‘We lined guys up offsides all week in practice…I got to teaching them how quickly this is going to happen up the field.’ Young faced Wisconsin twice last year. In those two games alone Young totaled 12 tackles, 4 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles. Absolutely toying with a pro-style offense and one of the more competent offensive lines in the Big 10.
Throughout the year Young commanded a wary eye from coordinators when preparing for Ohio State. His explosiveness and strength proved to be too much for a vanilla game plan. Coaches had to compensate, had to innovate. ‘When you combine speed and length together, you’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t,’ explained Northwestern Offensive Line Coach Kurt Anderson to ESPN. ‘You’ve got to game-plan some things to mess with him early in the game.’ An example of this would be to overload in an effort to blunt his acceleration off the line. ‘In the run game we brought everybody at him, receivers to cut off the back side and cut, whatever we could do to get him off-kilter.’
Washington could surely benefit from adding another hyper-athletic playmaker to an already respectable defense. The Redskins ranked 10th last year in sacks, one of the few promising statistical outputs from last year’s campaign. The potential of Young, Kerrigan, Sweat, Payne, and Allen vaults the Skins to having one of the most formidable defenses in the NFC East. A defense that could help distract from offensive inefficiencies if Dwyane Haskins needs more time to acclimate to the NFL.