Ohio State DE Chase Young officially declares for NFL draft

The best defensive player available in the 2020 NFL draft has made his professional intentions official.

Ohio State defensive end Chase Young said Friday that he was declaring for the NFL draft. Young is widely considered one of the top two prospects available in the draft alongside LSU QB Joe Burrow. If the Cincinnati Bengals take Burrow with the No. 1 pick, Young looks like the no-brainer choice at No. 2 for the Washington Redskins.

“Thank you to this great university and the entire state of Ohio for making me one of your own,” Young wrote in his statement. “I will never forget my time here and consider myself a Buckeye for life.”

“I am excited for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. I look forward to joining a new family in the NFL this spring and being part of something special.”

Young was the most dominant and disruptive player in college football in 2019. He had 16.5 sacks and 21.5 tackles for loss in 12 games this season. He missed two games in November after it was discovered that he took a loan from an agent to pay for his girlfriend to attend the Rose Bowl in January. He had repaid the loan in the spring.

Young’s disruption was on full display in Ohio State’s October win over Wisconsin and the Buckeyes’ November win against Penn State. Young had nine tackles and three sacks against the Nittany Lions as the Buckeyes clinched the Big Ten East with a 28-17 win on Nov. 24.

Ohio State defensive end Chase Young routinely was double-teamed in 2019. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri).

Ohio State could have two top-5 picks

Young joins teammates J.K. Dobbins and Jeffrey Okudah as early entrants into the draft. While Dobbins should be one of the first running backs taken, Okudah could be a top-five pick alongside Young. He established himself as one of the best cover corners in college football and would be a wise investment for any team looking for help in the secondary.

Young came to Ohio State as a five-star recruit in the class of 2017 and the No. 8 prospect in the country. He had 10.5 sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss as a freshman before exploding as a junior. Young was so good that he finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting behind Burrow, Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts and teammate Justin Fields despite missing those two games.

Here’s part of what Yahoo Sports NFL draft analyst Eric Edholm wrote about Young shortly after the defensive end declared on Friday.

There just aren’t too many reasonable scenarios where Young falls past the third pick, in our minds. He’s a rare, game-changing talent who might earn a pre-draft grade even higher than Nick Bosa, last year’s No. 2 overall selection (and Young’s former teammate) who is having a tremendous rookie season.

If and when Young is selected in the top three, he’ll be the third Ohio State defensive end in the last five drafts to be a top-three pick. Nick Bosa’s brother Joey, a defensive end for the Los Angeles Chargers, was taken with the third pick in the 2016 draft.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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