Redskins first-round draft pick Chase Young addressed local and national reporters Monday afternoon. Here are five takeaways from his videoconference.
1. He's studied some of the NFL's best pass rushers.
Despite being called one of college football's best pass rushers in recent memory, Young said he still has much to learn before he suits up for his rookie season. Still, it does help that he has already built a foundation by watching some of the league's best pass rushers.
Young said he would ask the Ohio State coaching staff to put together clips of every sack from players like Von Miller, Khalil Mack and Joey and Nick Bosa. He would also go back and watch film from when Joey Bosa was with the Buckeyes. Like Young, all four of those players were top 5 picks, and they combined to record 37 sacks in 2019.
"[Nick and Joey Bosa] took our technique to the NFL," Young said. "I would watch them just to see if it would work at the next level. And, obviously, it's working."
He's also familiar with former defensive end Julius Peppers, who spent 17 season in the NFL and racked up 159.5 sacks over his career. In fact, he singled out Peppers as the player whose skillset is most similar to his.
"That was a guy that I always grew up watching," he said. "My uncles, they always used to talk about Julius. My dad didn't have an NFL team, but he liked Julius Peppers. I just grew up always talking about and watching Julius Peppers."
2. He "owes everything" to Ohio State defensive line coach Larry Johnson.
Young improved in every statistical category over the course of three seasons at Ohio State; he can thank Johnson for that.
"It was a blessing. I thank god every day because he put Coach J in my life," Young said.
Johnson has guided Young since the start of his collegiate career. Per 247Sports, Johnson recruited Young to join the Buckeyes when he was playing at DeMatha Catholic High School in Maryland. Young said Johnson was "all in" for him, so he returned the favor.
"That's the way it was," Young said. "We really just put it all out on the line for each other."
Young said every aspect of his skillset has improved since he met Johnson. He still has things he wants to work on in the coming months, but he credits Johnson with helping him to this point in his football career.
"Everything they say about him is true," Young said. "He's the guru, he's the best of the best, and I appreciate him."
3. He's already met with Jonathan Allen.
Young didn't waste any time in making the effort to acquaint himself with his teammates. Less than 24 hours after the Redskins drafted him, he paid a visit to Allen, who he called "one of the leaders of the defense."
"Chopped it up with him," he said. "I felt like it was right to do that."
As the fifth first-round pick on the Redskins' defensive line, Young said he is "fired up" to see what the group can accomplish next year. He referred back to the success the San Francisco 49ers, who also had five first-round defensive linemen in 2019, had when they drafted Nick Bosa at No. 2 overall. The 49ers were tied for fifth in the league with 48 sacks last year, and they harassed passers with 93 quarterback hits.
In addition to staying in shape, Young is focused on getting to know all his teammates. The next on his list is Montez Sweat, who was drafted 26th overall in 2019.
The 49ers finished 2018 24th in sacks before they added Nick Bosa. The Redskins have finished in the top 10 of the category for the past three seasons. If the 49ers are any example what adding an elite college pass rusher can do for a defense, expect the Redskins pass rush to be even more productive in 2020.
"When we go, watch out," Young said.
4. He wants to make a positive impact in the community.
There are many positives for Young when it comes to being drafted by the Redskins. He gets to play in front of his family for a team he watched as a kid. But one of the biggest benefits for him is that he can have a positive influence on the younger athletes growing up in the area.
"[I'm a] guy that can get personal with them," Young said. "I was in their shoes, and now I'm here."
It is common knowledge in the DMV area that Young grew up in Maryland and played for Pallotti and DeMatha Catholic before playing at Ohio State. There are few current players on the Redskins' roster that are more familiar with the area and its youth than Young.
Young already has plans for how to make that positive impact a reality. He wants to start a foundation, which he has already started putting together. The most important thing to Young is that he wants "every kid in the DMV to know that I'm just a good guy. … I'm definitely going to try to make my presence felt throughout the whole community."
5. His performance against the run has evolved.
Most analysts are quick to point out Young's unique ability when it comes to rushing passers. After leading college football with 16.5 sacks, that praise is certainly warranted.
Pass rushing is only a part of his skillset, though, and he has put in work to ensure that his run defense is just as dominant.
Young said he would meet with Ohio State head coach Ryan Day twice a week after practice just to go over run defense. They would watch film on the top five run plays from opposing offenses, and he would use that information to calling out plays based on the scout team offense's formation.
"I think that's why my game really excelled even more because I knew if it was a run," he said. "I feel like [from] play recognition throughout my run game from my freshman year to junior year, I got a lot stronger."
Young said his hand placement and balance have improved greatly since his freshman year. He believes he plays well against pulling guards and double teams. He understands that sacks are the flashy part of his position, but he also says his performance against the run is apparent to those what watch him.
"I feel like those people that know ball for real, when you go back and just watch my film of my run game, I feel like they know what I do in the run game."