It’s looking like once again the Ohio State Buckeyes have the best pass rusher in college football. Last year they had Nick Bosa and now he’s tearing up the NFL. Chase Young may be even better and should be a top-five pick in the 2020 NFL draft. Some say he’s the best overall player in all of college football. Naturally, NFL teams are going to be keeping a close eye on him until the draft in April. Among those scouting him this week is Oakland Raiders general manager Mike Mayock, according to Pete Thamel at Yahoo Sports.
Oakland has one of the worst pass rushes in the NFL. They used their fourth overall pick in 2019 to select Clemson defensive end Clelin Ferrell. While there’s still plenty of time for him to develop, he’s been mostly noneffective through the five games he’s played. If the team feels that they made a mistake with drafting Ferrell, they could be looking to add another pass rusher early in the 2020 draft. At worst, either Ferrell or the newer pass rusher develops into a consistent threat. At best, Ferrell improves and the Raiders have a top-tier pass rush.
Raiders Won’t Be Able to Draft Chase Young Unless They Trade-Up
It’s doubtful that the Raiders are banking on landing Young. He’s probably going to get drafted within the first five picks, maybe even the top pick depending which team has it. Oakland is too good this season to get a top-five pick and will probably have picks in the back half of the draft. They do have the assets to trade up if they feel that Young is the guy that they need. However, that is unlikely due to the fact that they drafted Ferrell so high in 2019. As exciting as it would be for the Raiders, landing Young is a pipe dream.
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Who Are Some Realistic Pass Rush Options in the Draft?
Even though Oakland will probably miss out on Chase Young, they’ll be plenty of other talented options in the first round of the draft. The team has two first-round picks thanks to the Khalil Mack trade with the Chicago Bears. Depending on what happens at the trade deadline, the Raiders are likely to use one of those picks on a wide receiver. There are plenty of other needs at linebacker and in the defensive backfield, but we’re going to focus on pass rush for now.
Based on Matt Miller’s big board at Bleacher Report, LSU’s K’Lavon Chaisson and Penn State’s Yetur Gross-Matos are two high-end pass rushers who could be available when the Raiders draft. Chaisson has been battling injuries lately, which is very concerning. If he can get healthy, he’d be a very good option for Oakland and he’d be able to play with his former teammate Arden Key.
Gross-Matos lives in opposing teams’ backfields. In 2018, he had 20 tackles for loss and eight sacks. He doesn’t have the same injury history that Chaisson has. He’s projected to be a late first-round pick, so he could be a very strong pickup for the Raiders if they miss out on some of the more highly rated pass rushers.