Chase Young is almost universally regarded as the best prospect in this year’s NFL draft.
He’s expected to go second overall to Washington, behind only LSU quarterback Joe Burrow. And if he doesn’t, there’s virtually no chance he’ll slip past the Detroit Lions at No. 3.
Young dominated the Big Ten this season, posting a college football-best 16.5 sacks in 12 games. And while he has been criticized for disappearing late in the season, when he was shut out of the sack column in Ohio State’s final three games, two analysts who’ve studied his game said that dip in production was not indicative of a swoon in play.
“Not a concern,” ESPN analyst Bobby Carpenter, a former Lions linebacker, said at the Super Bowl last month. “I watched him, he was doing the exact same thing. They weren’t going to let Chase Young beat them at the end of the year.”
Young served a two-game suspension in November for a violation of NCAA rules and returned with a dominant three-sack performance against Penn State. He didn’t register a tackle the next week in the Buckeyes’ blowout win over Michigan, then followed up a six-tackle performance against Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship game with two tackles in a national semifinal loss to Clemson.