For the second straight year, an Ohio State star will be returning to his hometown area to play for the Washington Redskins.
As expected, Washington drafted defensive end Chase Young with the second pick of the NFL draft Thursday night. He will be reunited with quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr., who was taken by Washington with the 15th pick of the 2019 draft.
Unlike Haskins, whose family rented out a bowling alley for his draft party, Young’s celebration was more low-key because of the quarantine forced by the COVID-19 pandemic. He gathered with his parents and his sister, Weslie, in their Cheltenham, Maryland, home.
Young’s selection pushed Ohio State ahead of the USC for most all-time first-round NFL draft picks with 82. It also, at least temporarily, gave the Buckeyes the most first-round picks this century. Young was the 32nd OSU player taken in the first round. Alabama entered the draft with 31 first-rounders since 2000.
Young is considered by many analysts as the best overall player in the draft. He had 16½ sacks as a junior last season despite missing two games because of an NCAA suspension. Young routinely faced and beat double-team blocking.
Young grew up in the Washington, D.C., suburbs and watched the Redskins, but he wasn’t a die-hard fan of the local NFL team.
"I never really had a team," Young said at the NFL combine. "I would always just be a fan of players. Growing up, I was always a fan of Sean Taylor, Clinton Portis and players like that."
Young arrived at Ohio State as a five-star prospect, and it didn’t take long for him to show why. He showed flashes of his ability as a freshman and then had a superb sophomore season despite playing on two sprained ankles.
Healthy in 2019, Young simply dominated most of the year. He had four sacks in a 38-7 victory over Wisconsin in October.
Then came the suspension for taking an improper loan to pay for a plane ticket. He had three sacks in his return, a 28-17 victory over Penn State.
But he didn’t have a sack in Ohio State’s final three games, though he still affected the games.
Young, who turned 21 this month, won the Bednarik and Bronko Nagurski awards as the nation’s best defensive player and was only the ninth defensive player to become a Heisman Trophy finalist.
He finished fourth behind LSU’s Joe Burrow, who was Thursday’s top overall pick to the Bengals, Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts and Buckeye teammate Justin Fields.
Young follows in the draft footsteps of former OSU teammate Nick Bosa, who was the second overall pick last year of the San Francisco 49ers. Bosa, like his brother Joey before him, became the NFL’s defensive rookie of the year.
Young is eager to join them in the pros.
"It's going to be exciting," he said at the combine. "I’m definitely excited to play with a big dogs and excited to show the world what I can do."