INDIANAPOLIS — Any projected top-5 pick usually has a strong case for being called the best player in the draft, but Chase Young doesn’t need the debate.
He’s confident there is no debate — he is, in his eyes, the No. 1 prospect.
"I definitely think I’m the best player in the draft," Young said Thursday at the NFL Scouting Combine. "I think I showed it on my tape. Every game, I think I showed it. I definitely think I put my best foot forward this year, I grinded hard. Two of my biggest things are hard work and dedication and I’m going to bring those two to the NFL with me."
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Young is making such a statement while choosing not to prove it in shorts and a t-shirt, instead, letting his film speak for itself. It’s not just a case of Young resting on his work already compiled — even if his 27 sacks in his last two seasons were quite impressive — but also the star prospect deciding to stay on the development track of a football player trying to constantly improve before making a huge leap to the game’s highest level.
"Me and my team decided to do that just because that Day 1 when I step on the field I want to be football ready," Young said during an appearance on Good Morning Football just before he took the podium No. 5 in Indianapolis. "I’m not trying to compete to be a combine player. I need to be a football player. Just know when I step on that field Day 1, I’ll be ready."
Because of that approach, Young said he will participate in position drills at his pro day in Columbus, Ohio, which will better display the skills that make him effective than running in a straight line for 120 feet.
Young’s rise to prominence was steady, then sudden, thanks in large part to his four-sack performance against Wisconsin and three-sack outing against Penn State in 2019. In less than two weeks, much of the football nation became acquainted with Young.
Seen as the latest star edge rusher from the Buckeyes, Young has been projected to go in the top five for months now. Even a two-game absence due to an eligibility issue couldn’t stop his momentum, and Thursday’s congregation of media members spilling out of the general area around Young’s podium served as a reminder that the pedigree and the tape is good — so good, he can spend this weekend chatting with teams and watching from the sidelines.
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