Rookies who enter the NFL can make an immediate impact or take years to develop. The defensive line is one place where first-round picks often make immediate impacts. After being drafted by Washington No. 2 overall, Chase Young is now part of a defense that has invested high draft capital on talented defensive linemen over the last four drafts (Jonathan Allen, 2017; Da’Ron Payne, 2018; Montez Sweat, 2019).
The oddsmakers at DraftKings Sportsbook have set his rookie sack total with an over/under of 8.5 juiced to the over at odds of -134.
Since 2010, a total of 72 defensive linemen have been selected in the first round of the NFL draft. The Ohio State standout was bestowed with the Chuck Bednarik, Ted Hendriks and Bronco Nagurski awards following his outstanding season. The star Buckeye had a stellar junior season that saw him lead the nation with 16.5 sacks, six forced fumbles and 21 tackles for loss in just 12 games
Washington allowed an average of 27.2 points per game last season. They failed miserably over the final three games of the season, surrendering an average of 41.7 points per game to NFC East foes.
However, Washington finished No. 10 in the NFL sacks last year with 46, more than the Super Bowl LIV champion Kansas City Chiefs (45). Young’s dynamic presence on the edge should now afford a tremendous boost to the secondary by cutting down expected coverage times.
Much like Nick Bosa, who was dominant en route to being named DROY with the 49ers last season, Young should be set up to succeed with numerous one-on-one matchups lining up next to Matt Ioannidis (8.5 sacks), Sweat (7.0 sacks), Allen (6.0 sacks) and Ryan Kerrigan (5.5 sacks).
The main reason Daniel Snyder invested in Young is because of his incredible ability to sack the quarterback. The 6-foot-5, 264-pound pass rusher was the prized addition in Ron Rivera’s first draft with Washington. The former leader of the Carolina Panthers has switched the 3-13 team of 2019 from a 3-4 scheme to a 4-3 front-seven alignment. With his defensive mindset it's fair to conclude that Young will be designed to make game-changing plays on a weekly basis in his rookie campaign.
It is with that notion in mind that oddsmakers have also made the once-in-a-generation talent the clear favorite for Defensive Rookie of the Years honors. As Sports Illustrated’s Jaime Eisner highlighted, “Nick Bosa took home the award with nine sacks last season, while his brother Joey Bosa won the prize in 2016 with 10.5 sacks. Aaron Donald had nine sacks when he won DROY in 2014.”
I am willing to bet on arguably the best overall prospect in this year’s draft class to fall in line with the aforementioned “big three” and surpass this projection by oddsmakers.
The Play: OVER 8.5 sacks (-134)
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