NFL executive calls Chase Young 'most dominant DE in the league' as rookie

Ryan Wormeli
·2 min read

NFC executive calls Chase Young 'most dominant DE in the league' originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Washington rookie Chase Young enjoyed one of the most impactful rookie seasons in the nation's capital in recent years, which came as no surprise after expectations were set sky-high after he was selected with the second overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Those enormous expectations were met almost immediately, with Young quickly establishing himself as a pass-rushing, playmaking force off the edge of a surprisingly stout Washington defense. And with the regular season wrapped up, Young is receiving some well-earned recognition for his tremendous freshman campaign.

Sports Illustrated reached out to several evaluators around the NFL, receiving back 32 votes for the various NFL awards. Young came in as one of the most dominant winners in the entire exercise, receiving 28 of those votes for Defensive Rookie of the Year, and earning some serious praise in the process.

“He was the best player coming out last year that I scouted, and he’s already the best player in the league at his position — the most dominant defensive end in the league," one anonymous NFC executive told Sports Illustrated. "I’d say Chase is already someone everyone has to be aware of when he’s in the game, and should become a multi-year All-Pro and future Hall of Famer."

That same evaluator went on to point out that scouts and front offices talk about "sure things" often, but Young actually fits the description.

"We talk about sure things all the time, he’s a sure thing," the executive said. "The fact that he was made a captain during the season, that’s he’s established himself as a leader that quick, it’s evident on the field when you play against him. You can see how that team rallies around him.”

Of course, Young wasn't the only member of the team recognized. In fact, he wasn't even the most runaway winner from Washington, thanks to quarterback Alex Smith's incredible comeback season.

Smith received 30 of a possible 32 votes for Comeback Player of the Year, easily the most of any award winner. And while Young's season was sensational for a rookie, and he will be as deserving of a Rookie of the Year as it gets, it wasn't historic in the way Smith's comeback was.

As one NFC GM put it succinctly when describing Smith in 2020: “Might be the best comeback ever.”