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

NFL Draft profile scouting report for Rutgers cornerback, Avery Young
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Avery Young
rutgers

#2
Pos: DB
Ht: 6002
Wt: 193
DOB: 9/2/_
Eligible: 2022
Coatesville, PA
Coatesville

Avery Young
Rutgers Scarlet Knights


Pros:

Ezring: 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.

Pulido: The experienced corner is a future star for Rutgers University. The athletic and physical corner has tremendous abilities in coverage. His claim to fame will be his exceptional press-man technique that allows him to consistently throw off timing. He is able to push towards the sideline with ease. He mirrors really well in man coverage as well, following any route in the books. He has very good, fluid hips to transition fast and gets to top speed almost immediately. Young displays excellent abilities in the run game. He is very rarely blocked by a receiver and is able to track down runners with ease. He almost always takes a perfect angle to the runner. Another aspect of his game that is transcendent is his ability to click and close in off man. He plants his back foot nicely and dives on the ball fast. He is very physical and the catch point and very rarely allows catches when he gets his hands involved on the ball.

Dietz: Young primarily aligns as the right outside cornerback with some snaps in the slot sprinkled in for the Scarlet Knights. He is a tall and lengthy cornerback with more than sufficient athleticism. Long speed is phenomenal - when playing press coverage will stay practically surgically attached to the receiver, therefore negating the latter’s overall impact. All of the technical prowess and movement skills you crave in a Cover 0 corner - not a ballhawk but wipes guys out of the offense completely. Run support skills are beautiful. Closing speed when he plays zone is NFL-caliber. Very physical player. Tackling technique is solid and core strength is apparent on tape; have seen him on more than one occasion bring down players who have fifty pounds on him by himself.

Cons:

Ezring: 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.

Pulido: Avery Young doesn’t have the quickest recognition in zone coverage. He has all the quickness in the world to be good there but still ends up a step slow often. He also doesn’t have great hand usage. He can have trouble getting his hands in position during routes. He often loses the hip pocket during routes. His ball skills are not ideal. He breaks up passes but only has one interception in his career. He needs to become more disciplined with his playstyle as well, he had too many penalties at the college level due to his overly aggressive style.

Dietz: Zone coverage is where he needs a little work. Anticipation is a hair off and doesn’t have the agility to stay with some receivers when their route breaks. When playing deep coverages, struggles to differentiate the need to stock a receiving in his tracks or rely on his speed. Loves to use his hands, but is prone to grab at times. Lateral agility isn’t anything to write home about. Not a playmaker - rarely will you see him attempt to make a play on the ball.

Summary:

Ezring: 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. 

Pulido: Avery Young is an athletic, quick-hipped corner who has excellent play strength and intelligence to succeed in the league. The corner is best when executing press-man coverage but has a ton of experience and abilities to play as a zone corner or in off-man at the next level. He will be able to play nickel or outside corner at the next level. He is also going to be scheme versatile at the next level due to his experience. Avery Young could be one of the top corners in the 2022 draft class.

Dietz: Avery Young has been a starter in the Rutgers Scarlet Knights’ secondary for the past three years, and his 2020 season was easily the best film he has put forth. The NFL loves long and physical corners, and Young is the epitome of that/ His ability in press is well-defined for a player his age, and if he can put forth another season of good tape in 2021, he has the chance to go really high in the 2022 NFL Draft.

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.” 


One-Liners

Ezring: 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.

Pulido: Avery Young is an athletic, quick-hipped corner who has excellent play strength and intelligence to succeed in the league. The corner is best when executing press-man coverage but has a ton of experience and abilities to play as a zone corner or in off-man at the next level.

Dietz: “While he still has some mental lapses in zone coverage, Young has a chance to be a future top-32 selection thanks to his press and Cover 0 abilities.”

Grades

Current Player Value/Potential Player Value

Ezring: 8.3 / 9.1

Pulido: 8.0/8.9

Dietz: 7.9 / 8.8