Ohio State’s Young chasing No. 1 pick status

Field Level Media

March 06, 2020 at 7:34 pm.

Ohio State defensive end Chase Young believes his name should be part of discussions surrounding the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

“Definitely — I feel like I’m the best player in the country,” Young told Field Level Media on Friday at Tropicana Atlantic City, where he was recognized as the nation’s top defensive player in college football by the Maxwell Football Club. “I think I was the best player at the Combine. I feel like I’m the best, that my name should be up there, and that’s not off of being cocky, that’s off of being real confident. To be in this game, if you don’t have that mentality, you shouldn’t be playing it.”

Young declared for the NFL draft and is the top defensive player in the draft in Field Level Media’s rankings, an opinion almost universal in the draft community. Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn joked that Young doesn’t even need a pro day, his body of work is more than evident in his three years and 30.5 sacks at Ohio State, including 16.5 sacks last season.

When scouts, coaches and personnel executives converge on Columbus later this month for Young’s pro day on March 25, it will be more of a cameo. He didn’t work out at the NFL Scouting Combine.

His intention is not to be measured and tested at Ohio State, either, but Young will show off what many consider to be generational position-specific skills. Former Texans general manager Charley Casserly, who used the No. 1 pick to select Jadeveon Clowney out of South Carolina, said present-day Young is ahead of the rookie year version of Clowney.

It’s those widely held opinions that helped sway Young’s decision to let his college career speak for itself.

“You get a lot of backlash from people that may not understand my position, but you know, it is what it is,” he said Friday. “I will be doing position drills at my Pro Day, but that’s it. For those who don’t understand — they don’t understand — but I know my worth and I’m going to act on it.”

That means no 40-yard dash, vertical jump, bench press, broad jump, three-cone drill — all tests Young could be asked to perform when he visits team headquarters of the multiple franchises ready to invest in the pass rusher at the top of the draft. The Cincinnati Bengals, who have the first overall pick, Washington Redskins (second), Detroit Lions (third) and New York Giants (fourth) are known to have interest in hosting Young at their facility.

At the NFL Scouting Combine, Young elaborated on his active resume.

“I think I showed it on my tape. Every game, I think I showed it,” he said. “I definitely think I put my best foot forward this year, I grinded hard. Two of my biggest things are hard work and dedication and I’m going to bring those two to the NFL with me.”

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow — an Ohio State transfer — is the popular projection at No. 1 to the Bengals. According to event organizers, Burrow opted not to attend Friday night’s Maxwell Football Club gala, and would be the first honoree in 83 years not to show.

Young is projected to be the No. 2 pick in the NFL draft. Barring a trade, that move would reunite him with quarterback Dwayne Haskins, who was selected by the Washington Redskins with the No. 15 pick overall in the 2019 draft. Young is a Redskins fan, having played at DeMatha High School in Maryland.

“Me and Dwayne talk all the time,” Young said. “I’ve known Dwayne since high school. He definitely loves the organization, and obviously he wants me to come play with him.”

Young said he has the same skills that compelled teams to make Joey and Nick Bosa first-round picks. Nick Bosa was selected No. 2 by the San Francisco 49ers last year and was named Defensive Rookie of the Year. Joey Bosa was the third overall pick in the 2016 to the then-San Diego Chargers. He has 40.0 sacks in his first four NFL seasons.

“The toolbox that they brought from college to the NFL, it works,” Young said. “I’ve been looking at them, always looking at Nick because he’s my big bro. I see what he’s doing in the league, he’s obviously doing outstanding.”

–By Jeff Reynolds, Field Level Media