They say it takes three years to totally judge a draft class, and when it comes to Washington’s full crop of 2020 selections, perhaps that’ll prove true.
As far as Chase Young is concerned, though, that three-year window isn’t needed. The verdict is in already.
He’s a complete, on- and off-the-field, build-your-franchise-around-him star. The fact that he’s a local product only makes it sweeter.
Young’s addition in April was the last part of a years-long commitment from the franchise toward creating a deep, feared defensive line. And in Washington’s opener, Young showed off his ability to alter a game while the group as a whole sacked Carson Wentz eight times.
From there, some struggles occurred, both up front on defense and for the team as a whole. Young personally dealt with a groin injury and a streak of appearances where he failed to match the numbers he posted in his debut.
Some even started assessing the No. 2 overall pick as a slight disappointment, or at least not worth such a precious choice. Fortunately, Young went on a tear that shut those people up.
Against Cincinnati, he destroyed Joe Burrow on a goal line hit that was both ferocious and clutch, as it created a loose ball that his teammates were able to recover.
On Thanksgiving in Dallas, he notched a sack in a blowout.
Versus the then-undefeated Steelers, he came up with the defining stop on an unbelievable goal line stand and was key in limiting Ben Roethlisberger.
Then, in a meeting with the 49ers, Young went crazy, as he forced a fumble, registered a sack, knocked down multiple passes and took a fumble back for a 47-yard touchdown. That afternoon will go down as the bolded exclamation point on his rookie campaign.
Young didn’t just contribute as a pass rusher, however. His energy, which Ron Rivera has described as “infectious,” was also evident on the sidelines, where he was always standing up and supporting his fellow players. Even in press conferences, he delivered, consistently answering things truthfully and humbly.
In the NFL, there are good finds, total packages — and guys like Chase Young, who has every trait you could ever ask for and more. The organization is still a ways away from being a serious contender, but making No. 99 the center of that effort will only make that climb easier.
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