Chase Young will ‘blow our minds’ in 2021

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When Chase Young was selected No. 2 overall in the 2020 NFL draft, almost everyone expected him to be the NFL defensive rookie of the year.

Mission accomplished. But somehow, in the eyes of some, Young even exceeded those lofty expectations. Sure, Young finished with only 7.5 sacks, but anyone who watches the trenches can tell you sometimes stat numbers can be deceiving and don’t tell the entire story.

As great as Young was in 2020, many believe he will take a massive leap in 2021.

“Good Morning Football” on the NFL Network recently discussed which players will “blow our minds” in 2021. When it was Kyle Brandt’s turn to name his choice, he went with Young:

If you can think of a more explosive, more talented defensive player right now that you want to buy stock in, I’ll go to Washington and say Chase Young. I think there are special, big, big-time things coming from him. One year in, it seems like he got better as the year went on.

Brandt talked about how some of the greatest pass-rushers of all time made huge leaps in their second year. He offered the following list of most sacks by a player in his second season:

  • J.J. Watt — 20.5 sacks

  • Derrick Thomas — 20 sacks

  • Aldon Smith — 19.5 sacks

  • Von Miller — 18.5 sacks

  • Reggie White — 18 sacks

  • Richard Dent — 7.5 sacks

That is an impressive list. Smith had the opportunity to be one of the best of all time until off-field issues derailed his promising career.

Brandt believes Young will be somewhere on that list after 2021.

“This is the list that I think Chase Young is going to be on,” Brandt said. “He’s that good, that fast, that explosive. That whole rookie year had the vibe of ‘you ain’t seen nothing yet.’”

In an interesting coincidence, Washington defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio was Miller’s defensive coordinator in his second year.

Young may not reach Watt’s historic second-year sack numbers, but don’t be surprised if he lands among the NFL’s sack leaders next season and leads Washington to another top-five defensive showing.