- ESPN staff writer
- Joined ESPN in 2011
- Graduated from Central Michigan
As the NFL draft approaches and experts debate the best overall prospect, there is still no doubt in Chase Young’s mind as to who is at the top.
On Instagram, ESPN’s Maria Taylor asked Young if he thought he was the best player in the draft and his answer was concise and confident.
“Yes, definitely,” Young said, doubling down on a similar claim he made back in February about being the NFL draft’s most dominant defender. “I know I’m the best, definitely.”
The defensive end from Ohio State wreaked havoc on opposing offenses last season, accumulating 16.5 sacks, 58 quarterback pressures and 46 total tackles despite missing two games to suspension.
Those stats combined with his size, athleticism and confidence have most agreeing he will be one of the first three players chosen when the NFL draft begins on April 23.
The draft itself will look much different than usual, as the league announced it will go to a virtual draft with all players and team personnel at their homes due to restrictions from the COVID-19 outbreak. Young told Taylor his prep has been altered because of the virus as well, now working out outside doing field work and weights.
When he found out the draft was going to be virtual, he was naturally disappointed and wanted to walk across that stage when his name is called. Especially this year with the NFL planning to bring prospects to the stage by boat in the pond outside of the Bellagio hotel.
It was set to be a spectacle, but Young won’t let the disruptions caused by the coronavirus put a damper on his night or his confidence. Young told Taylor he still plans on dressing up for the occasion, and while he doesn’t have his draft day suit in his hands just yet, it is on its way.
“We’re just trying to make sure the people who are making it can get it here,” Young said. “So if it gets here, all I will tell you is that I think the color is green … money green, yeah.”
Young will have his suit on at home, and while he won’t be chartered to the big stage on a boat, shaking commissioner Roger Goodell’s hand when his name is called, Young knows it will still be a special moment.
He also knows what’s important is what he does after his name is called — making sure there’s no doubt about his ability, regardless of whether he’s chosen with the top pick.
“I mean, obviously every player’s gonna try to dominate,” Young said. “And that’s not gonna change with me. I’m definitely gonna try to dominate on the next level as well. But just go in there, being humble, being coachable and just putting what I have on the field.
“And I feel like when I put my best foot forward, it’s gonna be pretty good.”
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