Commanders Tipped to Replace Chase Young With Draft Steal

Chase Young

Getty The Washington Commanders are tipped to finally replace Chase Young with a potential draft steal in Round 2.

The Washington Commanders never got what they expected from Chase Young as the second-overall pick in 2020, but they can finally replace him with Darius Robinson, a potential steal in the second round of the 2024 NFL draft.

Robinson is the ideal pick for the Commanders at 36, according to Pro Football Network: “With Chase Young now gone, getting a replacement into that pass-rush rotation is smart. While he doesn’t have Young-level upside, Robinson could be a regular disruptor of opposing pass games.”

Although Robinson’s credentials aren’t thought to compare to those of Young, the former did log 12 sacks across his final two seasons at Missouri. More important than his numbers, Robinson projects as great value, with Ben Standig of The Athletic noting how his colleague Dane Brugler has the 22-year-old rated as “Edge6 and No. 35” in his list of prospects, a draft guide known as “The Beast.”

Getting Robinson one spot later than Brugler has him listed isn’t the only reason this pick would rate as a steal for the Commanders. Robinson also projects as an ideal fit for head coach Dan Quinn’s brand of defense.

Commanders Can Finally Move On from Chase Young

Dealing Young to the San Francisco 49ers for a third-round pick before last season’s trade deadline marked a disappointing ending to the player’s tenure in Washington. Young was supposed to be a transformational pick who would help accelerate the rebuild undertaken by Quinn’s predecessor, Ron Rivera, four years ago.

Instead, a combination of injuries and a struggle responding to coaching, meant Young never lived up to expectations. Even so, he did maintain a knack for generating pressure, per Next Gen Stats.

Ultimately though, Young’s inconsistency finishing plays was a problem. The issue was reflected by a modest sack total of 14 in 34 games for Washington.

That lowly tally, along with Young’s subsequent struggles in a 49ers uniform, vindicated the opinion of some, including Thom Loverro of The Washington Times, about the player being a draft bust.

Young leaving the Bay Area after a few months to sign with the New Orleans Saints only fuelled the bust talk. Yet, for as much as he failed to live up to expectations, Young was still a capable edge-rusher whose presence was missed last season. Doubly so after the Commanders also dealt fellow defensive end Montez Sweat to the Chicago Bears at the deadline.

Taking Robinson would go a long way toward helping the Commanders move on from Young and Sweat. Especially since the rookie would benefit not only from Quinn’s schemes, but also thanks to the additions the Commanders made up front during free agency.

Darius Robinson a Perfect Scheme Fit for Dan Quinn

Brugler’s notes on Robinson (h/t Standig) should excite Quinn and the Commanders: “(Darius) Robinson is straight out of central casting with his frame, length and power at contact, but he needs to introduce better skill and efficiency to his game for quicker sheds versus NFL blocking. He projects as a base end in either an odd or even front who can shift inside in subpackages.”

Quinn loves to rotate a fleet of versatile pass-rushers and move them across the front to exploit blocking matchups. It’s what he did when turning Micah Parsons, DeMarcus Lawrence, Osa Odighizuwa and Dorance Armstrong Jr. loose, while serving as defensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys.

Armstrong joined the Commanders in free agency, along with another former Cowboys’ edge, Dante Fowler Jr. Quinn has veterans who know how he likes to attack quarterbacks, but a big defensive end like 6-foot-5, 290-pound Robinson would be the perfect addition to an overhauled group.

Robinson can win outside or crashing inside. A good example of the latter saw him sack LSU’s Jayden Daniels, the Commanders’ potential pick second overall, on a play highlighted by Touchdown Wire’s Doug Farrar.

As Farrar noted, Robinson “can win everywhere from wide-9 to 3-tech.” That has to be worth second-round value to the Commanders.

It would look like a bargain if Robinson outplayed Young.

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