How do you know the Falcons season is going poorly? I’m starting my draft profile series on October 17th with a guy who is a lock for the top three.
However, we have to look for optimism somewhere, and with the defensive line still not able to get to the quarterback or stop running backs from running wild, Chase Young is the perfect fit for the Falcons. Standing a menacing 6’5″ and 255 pounds, Young is following in a long line of remarkable Ohio State defensive lineman, the Bosa boys, Cameron Heyward, Johnathan Hankins, and even the budding Sam Hubbard and Dre’Mont Jones. Young might be the best of the bunch, possessing a nasty streak and ability to set the edge on the run. Ohio State is only giving up 2.38 YPC, 5th best in all of college football. They also rank 1st in sacks with 28 and tote the 4th best Red Zone defense.
What sets Young apart from the Bosas is his motor. You will never catch this kid taking a play off (unlike some other DEs on the Falcons roster). He is a picture-perfect compliment on the edge to Grady Jarrett. His explosiveness isn’t his calling card, but his hands are unlike anyone else in college football. Technique is vital – as we know all too well – speed rushing will only get you so far in the NFL, and Young is a master technician who can improvise and get to the quarterback in several ways. Combined with a won’t quit attitude, this kid is going to be a superstar no matter who drafts him.
He has the patented “slippery hips” and makes his way through small gaps very well. He’s comfortable with his hand in the dirt and standing up, which only adds to his versatility. The icing on the cake? Last season, Young was playing with two sprained ankles and still had 10.5 sacks, 15.5 TFL, and a forced fumble in 13 games playing 2nd fiddle to last year’s #2 overall pick Nick Bosa. He’s tough, he’s smart, he’s determined, he’s fast, he’s physical, and he has a non-stop motor. That checks all of my boxes.
So how about Young’s individual stats? They’re absurd. He’s already been creating chaos in the Big 10 this year, notching 8.5 sacks, 9.5 TFL, and three forced fumbles in six games. Even though the competition is way different, the Falcons as a unit have five sacks, 25 TFL, and eight forced fumbles while allowing nearly 120 yards per game on the ground. Even though he wasn’t a full-time player until his sophomore season, for Chase’s career, he’s recorded 21.5 Sacks, 31 TFL, five Forced Fumbles, and six Passes Defended in 28 games played.
Young is the rare combination of the best player available and perfect (and I mean PERFECT) fit. Teams will no longer be able to push Vic Beasley off of the line on every play, and he will free up the rest of the defensive line from endless double teams. Defensive end is the most glaring weakness on the Falcons, and Young is a generational talent at the position.
I had a lot of trouble coming up with a comparison for him, but I think the best current NFL player to compare him to is Myles Garrett. He’s got nine sacks this season to go with eight TFL – both lead the NFL. Garrett is a little heavier, but they’re similar in build, and Garrett’s motor and pass rush moves have come along since joining the Browns as the first overall pick. Garrett ran a 4.64 40, and I expect Young to be around that range as well, maybe a little faster. The ceiling for this guy is former Falcon John Abraham. The shoo-in for Canton brings that nastiness, tenacity, technique, and first move punch off the edge, wrecking opponent’s gameplans – just like Young. Abraham notched 133.5 sacks, 79 pass deflections, and 46 forced fumbles in his career.
So how do the Falcons get him?
Well, it’s pretty simple. Lose more games than the Redskins. Washington has a QB in Dwayne Haskins, while Cincinnati and Miami will both be shopping for Quarterbacks. The Bengals already have Carlos Dunlap, so I expect them to take Justin Herbert or Tua – whoever is available. If the Falcons are selecting third, they’re in a prime position to snag Young, as long as they are picking ahead of Washington. Otherwise, there is very little chance he lands in Atlanta.
Chase Young would immediately change the outlook of the Falcons defense, giving them two studs across the defensive line, and a superstar linebacker in Deion Jones – both of which will take pressure off of the playmakers in the secondary by creating QB pressures and forcing mistakes that allow Trufant, Neal, and Allen to do what they do best. Young will be a franchise-changing player wherever he goes, and immediately have the Falcons thinking about a Super Bowl again.