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Top Edge Rushers in NFL Draft: Chase Young

Ohio State’s Chase Young obviously ranks No. 1 among this year’s edge-rushing prospects.
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Ohio State’s Chase Young obviously ranks No. 1 among this year’s edge-rushing prospects.

All Ohio State’s Chase Young did was finish No. 1 in the nation with 16.5 sacks, No. 2 with 21.5 tackles for losses and No. 1 with seven forced fumbles during a prodigious 2019 season. And that’s with a two-game suspension for taking a loan.

So, this isn’t braggadocio:

“I definitely think I'm the best player in the draft,” Young said at the Scouting Comibne. “I think I showed it on my tape. You can go to every game, I think I showed it. I grinded hard. Two of my biggest things are my hard work and dedication and I'm going to bring those two to the NFL with me.”

Young was runner-up for the Heisman Trophy. Since 1982, he was just the ninth defensive player out of 159 finalists. He won the Bednarik Award and the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, which recognize the nation’s outstanding defensive player, and the Ted Hendricks Award, which goes to the nation’s top defensive end. A unanimous All-American, he also won the Chicago Tribune Silver Football as the Big Ten’s best player and the Big Ten’s Defensive Player and Defensive Lineman of the Year awards.

He had 10.5 sacks and 15.5 tackles for losses as a sophomore – good numbers but hardly as overwhelming as in 2019.

“As we say at Ohio State with coach (Ryan) Day, you're really drinking the Kool-Aid,” Young said. “My sophomore year, I was I was sipping it, but I think my junior year I was drinking gallons all the time. So, I think it goes out to coach J (Larry Johnson). Extra work with him. Film study. And my player recognition was through the roof junior year and that's one of that's one of the main things that helped me through this season.”

The face of Young’s beloved grandfather is tattooed on his right arm. “So basically this is a lion, right?” he told the Washington Post. “And if you look at his eyes, he’s looking up. So I look at myself as a lion. So he’s looking up, and he’s looking up at my grandfather. And these are the stairs to heaven, and God welcoming him, you know, his hand out. And I’m looking at my grandfather going up into heaven.”

With his draft stock set in stone, he didn’t test at the Scouting Combine and would not have tested at OSU’s pro day.

“I don't want to waste time trying to be a Combine athlete,” he said.

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What we like

Sometimes, the numbers lie. Sometimes, they tell the truth. Young is a dominating defender. Just ask Wisconsin. He beat the Badgers for four sacks in the game at Ohio State. According to Sports Info Solutions, he applied a pressure on 20 percent of his rushes – second-best in the draft class. Sacks are great but the elite players get more than sacks. Young’s seven forced fumbles were three more than anyone else in the draft class. At 6-foot-4 7/8 and 264 pounds with 33 3/4-inch arms, he’s got size, length and explosion. When run at, opponents had a miniscule 21 percent success rate, according to SIS.

What we don’t like

Nothing. 

Bill Huber’s Edge Rusher Profiles

No. 1: Ohio State’s Chase Young

No. 2: LSU’s K’Lavon Chaisson

No. 3: Penn State’s Yetur Gross-Matos

No. 4: Iowa’s A.J. Epenesa

No. 5: Michigan’s Joe Uche

Nos 6-20: Best of the Rest