(AP) — Many observers tabbed Chase Young as the most talented player in last April’s draft. Looks like they knew something.
The edge rusher for Washington ran away in voting for The Associated Press 2020 Defensive Rookie of the Year award. The first player for the Washington franchise to win it, Young led all rookies with 7 1/2 sacks and should be an anchor of the team’s defense throughout the decade.
His performance helped Washington win the NFC East, albeit at 7-9. But the defense ranked second in the league in large part because of a fearsome pass rush anchored by Young, the second overall selection in 2020′s draft.
All the while having a ball.
“Definitely, I feel like that is the reason I play the game,” Young said. “Even from the first time I was a kid, I loved the game. I definitely like to have fun when I am out there playing.”
Young received 42 1-2 votes from a nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the league. Carolina safety Jeremy Chinn received 4 1-2 votes, Baltimore linebacker Patrick Queen got two, and Tampa Bay safety Antoine Winfield Jr. got one.
Young was fortunate to have the guidance of two superb defensive minds in head coach Ron Rivera and coordinator Jack Del Rio in Washington.
“I came in eager to just work hard and be a sponge,” Young said, “and I watched coach Del Rio and Rivera just from afar, and always just tried to pick their minds about football in general. And I feel like that helped me throughout the year.”
The winner was revealed on the NFL Honors television show.