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NFL Draft Profile: Avery Young, Safety, Rutgers Scarlet Knights

NFL Draft profile scouting report for Rutgers S Avery Young

Avery Young
rutgers

#2
Pos: S
Ht: 6002
Wt: 205
40: 4.58
DOB: 09/02/
Hometown: Coatesville, PA
High School: Coatesville
Eligibility: 2023

Avery Young
Rutgers Scarlet Knights


One-Liner:

A well-rounded, experienced, athletic and versatile player, Avery Young has a chance to be a star in the NFL; the young corner thrives in press-man coverage but should be seen as a future starter in any scheme.

Evaluation:

Few players offer a pro-ready all-around skillset with the athleticism, scheme versatility and positional versatility to continue developing. Avery Young is an experienced corner who has played nickel and boundary corner. He offers long speed, quick feet, clean transitions, loose hips and overall fluid movement skills. What’s more, he has exceptional play strength. In zone coverage, Young displays strong route recognition and spatial awareness. He reads and mirrors the quarterback and has the burst (both linear and lateral) to thrive in zone coverage. That said, Young’s best play comes in man coverage. When off the line of scrimmage in off coverage or soft press, he consistently mirrors receivers and rarely takes false steps. When he does take an extra step, he has the intelligence, movement skills, fluidity and physicality to stay calm and recover. Above all else, Young shines in press coverage. He plays with sound press technique, routinely throws off receivers’ timing in press and uses the sideline well to render his opponents ineligible. Further, Young plays with excellent eye discipline and an advanced understanding of leverage in all iterations of man coverage. By positioning himself in certain ways, he forces receivers to move how he wants them to move while staying in the ideal spot, relative to his assignment, to stay in phase against any route. At the catch point, Young is extremely physical and has strong hand-eye coordination. Moreover, the Scarlet Knights’ star is a sound run defender and tackler who can stack receivers’ blocks and set the edge. To reach his potential at the next level, the Rutgers defender will need to correct certain technical issues in his game. The flaw in his game that is currently most detrimental to his play is his inconsistent hand usage. Specifically, he fails to keep his hand in the receiver’s hip pocket. As a result, he can struggle to properly feel out routes as they happen. In other words, his propensity to mirror without engaging physically hurts his reaction time against sharp-breaking routes. This tendency is especially prevalent when he is playing from a low shoulder position. Additionally, Young’s physical playstyle can occasionally result in defensive pass interference. Moreover, the star corner plays with worse hip discipline in zone coverage than he does in man. Finally, Young can struggle to read the mesh point against the run and is sometimes fooled by play action in zone coverage. A well-rounded, experienced, athletic and versatile player, Avery Young has a chance to be a star in the NFL. He is exceptional in all forms of man coverage and has exhibited the requisite movement skills and instincts to succeed in zone. While the star corner is at his best in press coverage, he should be seen as a future starter in any scheme. To truly reach his potential, Young will have to recognize and fix certain technical issues. Regardless, he projects as a starting cornerback early in his career with the chance to become a number-one corner. 

Grade:

4th Round

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Background:

A Coatesville, Pennsylvania native, Avery Young was a two-way high school star at Coatesville Area High School. In his high school career, the Scarlet Knight corner was named first-team all-league at both wide receiver and defensive back. Penn Preps listed Young as the top cornerback in the state of Pennsylvania during his senior year. Listed as a 3-star recruit by 247Sports, the outlet ranked him as the 130th recruit in Pennsylvania and the 30th cornerback recruit in the nation. He was outside of the 247Sports Composite Rankings’ top 1300 high school recruits. He was also ranked the 29th overall basketball recruit in the state of Pennsylvania by Rivals for his work as a small forward. What’s more, Young was selected to participate in the 61st annual Pennsylvania Scholastic Football Coaches Association Big 33 Classic. Through his three-year career at Rutgers, the star corner has accumulated substantial playing experience. He played in all 12 games (starting 11) during his true freshman year; in his sophomore year, he played in all 12 games and started 10. As a junior in 2020, Young started all nine games at cornerback. He was selected honorable mention All-Big Ten by the media and was named to the Academic All-Big Ten List. His younger brother, Aaron Young, is a running back for the Scarlet Knights. Avery Young is a communications major. Coaches love the rising senior. In the summer before his sophomore season, co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach Noah Joseph said, “If you had 11 Avery Young’s on defense, we would be unbelievable.” Former Rutgers cornerbacks coach, Jay Valai (now with the Alabama Crimson Tide in the same role), mirrored that sentiment: “Avery Young is probably going to run for president in 2030-something. Avery is awesome. Great guy to be around. His tenacity and his energy are infectious.”