WASHINGTON (AP) — The Redskins held onto the second overall pick Thursday night and selected Ohio State pass-rusher Chase Young.
Washington received calls from other teams interested in trading up but opted to take a Heisman Trophy finalist considered by many the top non-quarterback available in the NFL draft. The front office’s hope is Young can have the same effect as reigning defensive rookie of the year Nick Bosa made on the San Francisco 49ers as the No. 2 pick last year.
Young appears to have that potential. He led the nation with 16 1/2 sacks and had 46 tackles during his junior season. Vice president of player personnel Kyle Smith said “everything” stands out about Young.
New coach Ron Rivera believes a top-five pick needs to provide an immediate impact, and the Redskins went with the best player available rather than addressing a major need. They already have Ryan Kerrigan and 2019 first-rounder Montez Sweat as part of their pass rush and spent 2017 and 2018 first-round picks on defensive linemen Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne.
Young watched from his home in suburban Washington with a picture of his late grandfather, Carl H. Robinson, stationed on the coffee table. After taking a call from the Redskins and putting on his newest hat, Young tweeted: “Proud to be a part of such a historic franchise. @Redskins, let’s GOOO.”
The Redskins traded their second-round pick this year to move up to get Sweat, leaving them without a selection until the third round at No. 66. A trade of longtime holdout left tackle Trent Williams could change that, and Washington has holes to fill at that position, cornerback, tight end and wide receiver.
Washington went 3-13 in 2019, but Young should provide a major boost to a defense that ranked 29th in the league last season. He could quickly become a fan favorite for an organization that hasn’t won a playoff game since 2005 because Young is a D.C.-area native.
The DeMatha Catholic High School product on Wednesday delivered meals to 300 nurses at Southern Maryland Hospital in Clinton, where he was born 21 years ago. He grew up in Upper Marlboro, 10 miles from his new home stadium.
Young also has a college connection to the two biggest pieces of the Redskins offense. He played with quarterback Dwayne Haskins and receiver Terry McLaurin at Ohio State in 2017 and 2018.
After the Cincinnati Bengals drafted Heisman winner Joe Burrow out of LSU first overall, the Redskins could have made it three Alabama players in first round over the past four years by taking Tua Tagovailoa. But owner Dan Snyder had a hand in selecting Haskins 15th last year, and Rivera will give the second-year pro a chance to keep the starting QB job in a competition against Kyle Allen.