Redskins

Redskins

Chase Young is a Redskin. After months of projections, stories, TV segments and Twitter photoshops about the possibility of the pass rusher joining Washington, it’s now real.

Chase Young is a Redskin.

By taking the Ohio State star second overall in Thursday’s 2020 NFL Draft, the franchise has a defender it hopes will be a force into — hell, let’s get crazy — 2030 and beyond. 

But Young won’t just make an impact for the Burgundy and Gold by beating the lineman in front of him (or, more likely, the lineman, the tight end who’s chipping him and the running back who’s also assigned to him). The defensive end should also contribute by taking the attention away from others on the unit and, therefore, help them raise their play, too.

So, while there will be months of talk about how Young himself will make a difference for Ron Rivera and Jack Del Rio, here’s a list of five key Redskins who stand to most benefit from the rookie's expected difference-making.

Montez Sweat 

Sweat was overlooked all of 2019 because he was the organization’s second first-round selection. Whenever you’re a part of a class that includes a new passer, you’re going to fade into the background.

The Mississippi State product didn’t help himself, though, with his slow start to his first pro campaign. Yet in the final eight contests, Sweat racked up 5.5 sacks and nine QB hits. That felt a lot more appropriate for someone with Sweat’s length and explosiveness.

 

Now, Sweat will not only be used more effectively due to the defense’s switch to a 4-3, he’ll also be paired with Young. 

Will he be overlooked in Year 2 again, because of Young’s arrival? Certainly. But this time around, he’s probably more than okay with that. With the coaching change and a new, major threat on the opposite side, Sweat could really take off. 

Ryan Kerrigan

The man who is second on the Redskins’ all-time sack list should have no problems ascending into first in 2020. 

In fact, with Young in the mix, Kerrigan may be able to put some real distance between him and the rest.

Real football is still months away, meaning Kerrigan’s true role is largely unknown. That said, it sure seems like Young and Sweat will garner more snaps simply because they’re younger and fresher — not that Kerrigan will mind.

Moving forward, Kerrigan might see less time on the field, but he can spend that time on the field with more energy. If he’s attacking signal-callers half as often as he’s used to, but he's doing so at 100-percent and only in the most crucial situations, that’s an excellent compromise for everyone.

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Kendall Fuller

Fuller is back in Washington for many reasons — including the chance to maximize himself under Rivera and return to the area that he’s grown up in — but chief among them, he said during free agency, was that he loved the thought of lurking in coverage behind the team’s loaded front. 

Those quotes, by the way, came before Young’s addition.

Fuller is adamant that he wants more respect as a corner, and racking up pass breakups and interceptions will obviously accomplish that. With Young now fighting alongside Sweat, Kerrigan, Daron Payne, Matt Ioannidis and Jonathan Allen, Fuller should see lots of hurried throws coming his way.

Landon Collins

The Redskins brought Collins in last offseason to be a leader and centerpiece of their defense and, though he had a solid debut year, they aren’t paying him to be solid. They’re paying him to be spectacular. That’s where Young factors in.

Collins is best when he’s lining up close to the line of scrimmage, knifing through gaps to take down running backs and roving in the intermediate areas to affect the passing game. Well, with Young operating in the box as well, Collins should be freed up to cause more damage. 

The safety’s first go-round in D.C. wasn’t quite what he, the team or fans wanted. The sequel, however, may prove to be worth the wait.

Dwayne Haskins

Yes, a stud like Young can influence teammates that he doesn’t even take the field with. Haskins, Young’s buddy from Ohio State, will surely feel that influence.

 

If Young stays healthy, delivers in his own right and assists the guys above in doing the same, Washington’s offense will find itself in more advantageous situations. With a better defense, the offense should have better average field position and more turnovers that will provide more chances to score. 

Haskins, clearly, would profit off of those scenarios. 

In 2020, the Redskins have selected what they believe is a franchise-changing defender. That franchise-changing defender, meanwhile, could spark the career of a franchise-changing quarterback.

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