2020 NFL Draft Scouting Report


Chase Young

June 5, 2019 11:00 PM EST


Cehase Young Scouting Report picture

School: Ohio State

Height: 6'5"

Weight: 265

Eligibility: JR

Uniform: #2

Position: EDGE


Evaluated by: Austin Smith
smith.austinj14@gmail.com
June 4, 2019

Prospect Overview

It didn't take Young long to start turning heads at Ohio State. The Buckeyes are no stranger to talented defensive linemen, but when the former 27th overall recruit in ESPN's Top 300 showed up on campus, the upside was too much to overlook. Players like Nick and Joey Bosa have earned top-5 grades in recent drafts, but Young is a much different prospect in terms of raw, physical gifts. While both the Bosa brothers were talented, neither is in the same conversation as Young when it comes to athletic traits, but he is far less polished than either was at this point. However, late in Young's sophomore season, he finally started to turn the corner to being a more consistent player, and that should have Big Ten offenses extremely worried.

As a freshman, Young only teased his potential with 3.5 sacks and five tackles for loss, but the flashes started to come more often early in his sophomore campaign after a pair of two-sack outings against Rutgers and Penn State. Still, Young was being used primarily on passing downs until injuries opened the door for him midway through the year, and suddenly things started to click. Not only was he picking up sacks, but he was becoming more of a constant disruptor, and by the end of the year his 10.5 sacks tied for 13th in the country. He may never be the machine that the Bosa's were when it comes to being incredibly technical players, but if he continues to make strides in that area like we saw late last season, it could propel his draft stock into the same range that Nick and Joey were selected.


Chase Young Scouting Report image 1

Positives

Let's start with the traits. This is the first guy you want getting off the bus. At six feet, five inches and 265 pounds, Young has a thick frame and the kind of reach that you want in a great pass rusher. He also has a scary first step off the snap for a player with that kind of size, although his jumps are a bit inconsistent. Young also shows the ability to accelerate at a high level. His ability to hesitate and then hit the gas to put blockers off balance is his most effective weapon at this time, and his acceleration also shows up when he is used on stunts and twists. Young just has a knack for timing when to get going in those situations, and when there is a lane available, he finishes strong.

Young is at his most aggressive when he realizes he has the tackle off balance. It's like blood in the water when he senses that the tackle is uncomfortable or in panic mode. That is when I see the most tenacity out of him. He also has a solid understanding of how to take advantage of his length, although I'd like to see his handwork be more decisive and better placed. However, when he shoots his hands on a blocker and keeps his distance with his arm length, he disengages easily and puts his speed to work.

Areas for Improvement

Consistency is the issue the majority of the time with Young, but that is often the case with younger players, and he looked to be improving in that area late in 2018. I know he is a tall player, but he has to play lower more often. Converting speed to power is one of the essential traits for an NFL pass rusher, and it takes balance and leverage. When a pass rusher plays high, he has neither. Young has to get better in this area because the combination of his size and speed is too special to consistently rely on one or the other. I mentioned he is dangerous when he gets a tackle off balance, but I've seldom seen him use a bull rush in those situations, and it's because he doesn't convert speed to power well based on his pad level. He does show the ability to get low and accelerate around the corner, but once again, he also has bouts where he tries to turn the corner too high and is unsuccessful. Up until midway through his sophomore year, he was being used more often on passing downs than against the run, and his ability to play low and hold up at the point of attack seemed to be the reason. He would get driven off the ball, or pop up and let the blocker get into his chest.


Chase Young Scouting Report image 2

Young's effort is inconsistent, as well. I'm not talking about his initial effort, but once he is neutralized, his motor shuts down. Young needs to learn how to quickly disengage and get back in the fight because, with his ability to accelerate, this should be more of a strength than a concern. It is also rare to see him busting his butt down the field after a pass has gotten off or a run has reached the second level. I know that effort is seldom rewarded, but in an era where perimeter screens are more popular than ever, the pursuit of all 11 players is critical. I don't believe it's a conditioning issue. Young just needs to play more tenacious in those situations.

He also has to be more aggressive on a regular basis and his age could be part of the problem here. Whether he just isn't seeing things quickly or thinking too long, there are big plays that he leaves on the field, and they often involve the zone-read or options. Being the key that a quarterback reads can be a frustrating position, but with his ability to accelerate, he can blow plays up before they are even in motion. It takes instincts and aggression, and right now, one of them is not working his favor. There were a couple of plays against Penn State where I thought he could have easily blown up the play or even beat the running back to the ball, but Young froze and became a non-factor. This could also be how he is coached to handle it, but I can't imagine a coaching staff harnessing his ability to be disruptive.

Finally, Young needs to get better technically. His punch is more of an arm extension without any pop or shock in his hands. Young's handwork needs to be better in order to take advantage of his long arms, and he needs to develop more of an arsenal when it comes to his strategy rushing the passer. Young also needs to have a better plan pre-snap, because there are plays where he stalls early because he doesn't have a strategy in mind.


Chase Young Scouting Report image

Draft Stock

I know the concerns outweigh the positives right now, but as I said the issue isn't that he can't do a lot of these things, it's that Young doesn't do them consistently. Still, the upside is there. There are plays that Young makes that I find myself asking if Nick Bosa could have made them. I know their skillsets are nothing alike, but we are talking about a player that was drafted second overall, and Young could find himself in that same conversation following his junior season. It's not a given, but with more consistency in his third year in Columbus, I wouldn't bet against it. He has that kind of potential. Watch him end the game against Penn State on a stunt or dominate in the conference championship. It's all there.

As far as his character is concerned, he plays with emotion and it has bitten him in the rear a time or two, but there is nothing that points to him being a problem in the locker room or off the field. In the game he was ejected for collecting two 15-yard penalties, neither were atrocious decisions. He just let his emotions get a little carried away. I can live with a little too much passion, and that was all it appeared to be. As far as his work ethic, time will tell. There is a lot of room for Young to clean up his game, and unlike many prospects, his issues only require practice. When it comes to the things you can't coach, there are no issues, so whether he becomes more consistent is up to his hard work and sweat. With that in mind, he will have control over his draft stock. It could be in the top 50, or it could be in the top five.

Player Comparison

This is tough because of the consistency issues, but the first player I thought about when I saw Young was Carlos Dunlap when he was at Florida. At that time, Dunlap was another uber-talented, albeit raw prospect that just needed to become more polished. Still, for those that remember, many thought Dunlap was on pace to be the next Mario Williams after two seasons. Unfortunately, we didn't see that final breakout season that propelled him to the top of draft boards. Young's first two years look very similar to Dunlap's, and like Dunlap, he is a breakout season away from drawing comparisons to Williams thanks to his rare combination of size and athleticism.

Games Watched

vs. Rutgers (9-8-18)
vs. Penn State (9-29-18)
vs. Maryland (11-17-18)
vs. Michigan (11-24-18)
vs. Northwestern (12-1-18)
vs. Washington (1-1-19)

Notes from Film

  • Certainly looks the part. Tall, thick frame, long arms
  • Motor runs hot and cold, effort went up when opponent was backed up against own end zone and late in close game
  • I'd like to see more second effort and pursuit down the field
  • First-step quickness is very good for size
  • Looked timid when he was the unblocked guy on read
  • option early in Penn State game, has the athleticism to blow the play up but he can't hesitate, got better as game went on
  • Showed very good start-stop quickness on up and under move
  • Not nearly as polished as Nick Bosa with hand placement, footwork or pre-snap plan
  • Tends to rely on his burst and arm-length too much
  • Needs to get low when attempting to turn the corner on a speed rush
  • Would like to see his punch be more consistent, at times he appears to be just extending his hands to the lineman as opposed to actually punching
  • Has a really good idea of how to take advantage of a blocker when he gets them off-balance with his initial burst
  • Athleticism and ability to explode up field shows up on twists and stunts, ended the Penn State game on a run stunt that worked to perfection
  • Shows better power as a pass rusher than against the run
  • Good awareness of when to get his hands up
  • Would like to see him convert speed to power a little better, plays a little high at the point of contact
  • I'd like to see him play with his hands more often against the run, on the rare occasion he gets his hands on the blocker and his arms extended, he is a much more effective player
  • Michigan tape kind of sums up his 2018 season. Shows flashes in a variety of areas from the defensive end position, but still needs a lot of work in consistency department


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