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2020 NFL Defensive ROY – Is This Chase Young’s Award to Lose?

| June 18, 2020 3:30 am PDT
Chase Young 2020 NFL Defensive ROY

If it hadn’t been for a meteoric rise from LSU quarterback Joe Burrow this past year, it’s quite likely Chase Young would have been the first pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

He isn’t the first stud defensive player to be spurned by a team needing a quarterback more than some defensive help, either. Former Buckeyes teammate Nick Bosa got passed over in the same fashion the year prior.

All Bosa did was turn around and help the San Francisco 49ers reach the Super Bowl.

Now, Young isn’t likely to elevate the Washington Redskins to that degree, but he was still the second overall pick and the first defender off the board in the draft.

On paper, the superstar pass rusher and elite athlete projects extremely well for the pros. He could have a huge hand in turning the Redskins around to some degree, and the latest 2020 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year odds suggest he could win an individual award, too.

Why Chase Young Can Win Defensive ROY

Chase Young is a total beast. He possesses the size, quickness, strength, speed, and overall athleticism to be a feared pass rusher at the next level.

And if the rapid success of other former Ohio State defenders is any indication, he won’t wait long to leave his mark.

Young is walking into a pretty good situation with the Redskins, who arguably have a better defense in terms of talent than advertised. This team also has Ron Rivera and Jack Del Rio coming in to help turn things around, while the franchise is also switching from a base 3-4 defense to a 4-3.

All of this should aid Young, who on his own has the ability to rack up sacks and help against the run. Provided he sees a huge role to start his career, he feels like a lock to make an impact much like Nick Bosa did in 2019.

The Redskins probably won’t win a whole lot more than they did last year, but their defense could be better due to the addition of Young. If he’s as good as he looked in college, he’d be a great bet to win the 2020 NFL Defensive ROY award.

Why Chase Young Won’t Win Defensive ROY

Young was a monster with the Buckeyes, and the physical ability makes him a potential superstar. If he’s going to struggle in 2020 or fail to any degree in his career, it’ll likely be due to a marginalized role or an injury.

Having a smaller role than expected as a rookie wouldn’t be all that crazy, of course. Montez Sweat is probably locked into a starting gig, and veteran Ryan Kerrigan could still be good enough to hold off Young.

That said, Young’s speed and athleticism could always get him on the field in a hybrid role, or he could be heavily rotated onto the field to keep the aging Kerrigan fresh.

That makes his health the only concern, but there really isn’t much to suggest that’s going to be an issue. It’d take a freak injury or a recurring nagging ailment to slow this stud rookie down.

Of course, there’s also the possibility Young succeeds as expected, but another rookie defender is just better. There are a few options for bettors to consider, after all.


I see merit in looking at a few other defensive players that could contend for this award. Chase Young is the obvious call as the betting favorite, and he’s probably the main focus for bettors, but his +250 odds aren’t to die for.

If you want a little more value, chasing other defenders that are in good spots and offer a bit more upside could make sense.

To aid bettors in their decision-making process, we’ll touch on a few other DROY candidates at our NFL blog before unleashing our 2020 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year predictions.

Noah Davis

Noah Davis is one of the more diverse writers at GamblingSites.com. Like many of his colleagues, he's a huge fan of both football and basketball. But he also writes about box office records, TV show prop bets, DFS, and all kinds of other subjects.

When it comes to the NFL, Noah's favorite team is the Cleveland Browns. He enjoys cheering them on with his wife and daughter.

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