Are the fans of the Washington Redskins who are clamoring for the team to take Ohio State defensive end Chase Young in the 2020 NFL Draft one step closer to getting their wish?
According to Tony Pauline of ProFootballNetwork, the answer to that question may be “yes.” In his February 19th, 2020 mailbag, Pauline wrote the following regarding the Redskins interest in the blue-chip pass rushing talent:
Not only does Ron Rivera love Chase Young, but owner Daniel Snyder wants Young to wind up DC. It seems unanimous the owner and the coach are on the same page on drafting Young at this point.
Assuming the report is true (and we have little reason to believe it isn’t), there are multiple layers in that statement that are worth breaking down.
For one, Pauline has been pretty adamant about Head Coach Ron Rivera’s admiration—and preference for drafting—Young. For instance: just a couple of weeks ago, Pauline said of Rivera’s interest in Young:
“I will tell you this – I said weeks ago that in my Q&A segment that Ron Rivera, who took over the Washington Redskins, loves Chase Young. I’ve not heard that that has changed. I’m told that he loves The Predator and he reminds him of Julius Peppers. As of right now, it’s very likely the way they’re going to go.”
It’s hard to miss the logic behind a defensive-minded head coach wanting to add a premier edge rusher to a defense that didn’t have a single player register more than 8.5 sacks.
Pairing Young with Montez Sweat would not only make each of them better, by largely reducing the ability of opponents to focus on either pass rusher individually, but also give them more flexibility in their decision to bring back Ryan Kerrigan.
While very few people will outwardly speak ill of “The Showstopper,” the prevailing sentiment is that though it feels like a contract restructuring + extension for Kerrigan is imminent (he’s due to count for over $11.68 million against the cap as he enters the last year of his existing 5-year contract), he hasn’t been quite the same guy as he has in years past.
However, bolstering the talent at the edge rusher position could not only allow for Kerrigan to play less snaps (and thus be more fresh both during a game and over the course of a season), but also improve his level of play with the Redskins’ potential depth at pass rusher simply overwhelming whoever they play.
Secondly, Snyder’s interest in Young is both fascinating and not surprising. It’s no secret that Snyder was the driving force behind the Redskins selecting Dwayne Haskins with their top pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. That was, in very large part, because of the fact that Haskins went to high school at the Bullis School, right here in Potomac, Maryland. The ability for Snyder to market a “hometown” prospect coming back to DC to be the quarterback of the Redskins was unquestionably a factor in the team’s decision to take Haskins.
You have to imagine there are similar circumstances surrounding Snyder’s interest in Chase Young. Young played two years of high school football at St. Vincent Pallotti High School in Laurel, before transferring and playing his latter two years at sporting powerhouse DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville.
In addition, there’s another headline that could be written about the fact that the Redskins would be adding yet another alumni of the Ohio State Buckeyes football program, alongside Haskins and Terry McLaurin from last year’s class.
While the argument will be made that Rivera is in charge of all things football, don’t forget that Rivera now reports directly to Snyder – meaning at the end of the day, Snyder is still Rivera’s boss. Anyone who’s been in the working world knows that, no matter how much autonomy you have your own professional fiefdom, if your boss asks you to do something, you have to do it.
And even if there really is something of a “mandate” coming down from Snyder, in regards to drafting Chase Young, it’s hardly like he’s forcing a player onto a coach who doesn’t really want to take him (like Snyder did with Haskins and Jay Gruden).
Clearly, Rivera is just as on-board with the idea as well. So, it’s a win-win-win situation… with that extra “win” representing the terror Young can (or will?) instill in the hearts of quarterbacks playing against the Washington Redskins’ defense.