49ers Strike ‘Incredible’ Deadline Trade for Former No. 2 Overall Pick

Chase Young, former Commanders DE, now traded to the 49ers

Getty Chase Young, former Commanders DE, now traded to the 49ers

Well, we were hearing the 49ers were going to grab themselves a pass rusher at the October 31 NFL trade deadline. And San Francisco got themselves a big fish: Commanders end Chase Young, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft.

In seven games for Washington, Young had 15 tackles and 9 quarterback, and with 5.0 sacks, he is well on pace to top his career high of 7.5 sacks. If the 49ers’ goal was to take pressure off pass-rushing star Nick Bosa, Young might be ideal —the two were teammates at Ohio State.

Wrote NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport on Twitter (now known as X):

“Sources: Former No. 2 overall pick DE Chase Young is being traded to the #49ers. Incredible. Likely a mid-round pick in 2024. After dealing Montez Sweat to the #Bears, Washington now trades Young to one of the NFL’s best.”

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the deal sent a third-rounder to Washington.

Chase Young Has Been Up & Down Before 49ers Trade

After Young was made the No. 2 overall selection in 2020, he pretty much met expectations. In his first season, he had 7.5 sacks and forced 4 fumbles, and he went on to establish himself as a defensive force. Young was the Defensive Rookie of the Year, as well as a Pro Bowler, that season.

Things have gone haywire for Young since. In his second season, Young was struggling with just 1.5 sacks in his first nine game when disaster struck — he tore his ACL in Week 10. During his recovery from the injury, he suffered a series of setbacks that left him out not only for the last part of 2021, but for almost all of 2022.

He played just three games last season and had no sacks in those games.

Young has been better this year, at last. He has a pass-rushing grade of 75.4 from Pro Football Focus, putting him 30th in the NFL among 107 pass rushers. On the other side of Bosa, the 49ers have tried three different ends — Clelin Ferrell, Drake Jackson and newly acquired Randy Gregory.

But none has had the impact Young is expected to have. Ferrell is ranked 49th among pass rushers by PFF, and Jackson is 63rd. Gregory has struggled, and comes in 94th out of 107.

Chase Young 49ers Trade Could Relieve Nick Bosa Pressure

The trade for Young is expected to relieve some of the pressure off Bosa, who has just 2.5 sacks on the season after signing a record $170 million contract over five seasons in September.

Former defensive end Chris Long, who signed a four-year, $60 million megadeal 11 years ago with the Los Angeles Rams, said that the unfair thing about the pressure on Bosa was that no one was taking that pressure off him on the 49ers line. That was obvious in the 49ers’ Monday night loss to the Minnesota Vikings in Week 7, when the Vikings kept several bodies between Bosa and the quarterback.

“The pressure on Nick Bosa right now to perform must be huge,” Long said. “Not must be, it is — I know because I’ve been the big contract guy. Not to his degree. … He’s got two and a half sacks and we all know sacks are not the end-all be-all. And they’re very dependent. (Minnesota) took him away, paid extra attention to him.”

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