- The Washington Times
Monday, August 16, 2021

Chase Young has respect among his peers.

The Washington defensive end ranked No. 61 in the NFL’s annual Top 100 players survey — voted on by players around the league. Former Washington left tackle Trent Williams, who now plays for San Francisco, called Young a “transcendent talent” in the video package that aired on NFL Network about Young’s season.

The reigning defensive rookie of the year, Young had 7½ sacks in 2020 and was a major reason for Washington’s defensive improvement. His game-changing speed wrecked opposing offensive lines, and he quickly earned the support of teammates. Young was named a captain later into the season.

Washington had two players among the first reveal Sunday — when the NFL unveiled Nos. 100-41. The Top 40 is set to be revealed later this week. 

All-Pro guard Brandon Scherff was Washington’s other selection, coming in at No. 98.

Young and Scherff are the first Washington players to crack the list in two years — and this is the first time since 2018 when the team had more than one selection. 

The list has often been criticized by analysts and other players who argue that players don’t take the voting seriously enough. 

Still, the recognition is the latest reflection that Young has lived up to the massive expectations that surrounded him upon entering the league. Drafted second overall out of Ohio State, Young was viewed as a generational pass-rusher and he did not disappoint. Though he was hampered with groin and hip injuries to start the season, the 22-year-old emerged as a dominant force as the year progressed. In addition to his sack total, Young forced four fumbles and recorded 10 tackles for loss — highs among all rookies. He scored his first touchdown in Week 13  after he recovered a fumble against the San Francisco 49ers. 

Young was Washington’s first defensive rookie of the year ever and the first rookie from the NFC East to earn the honor since Lawrence Taylor in 1981. 

Entering his second season, Young looks poised to build upon a promising rookie campaign.

“The thing that I really appreciate about who Chase is, he’s a very driven young man,” coach Ron Rivera said last month. “He wants to succeed. He wants to do things the right way. He’s got some really good core values.”

• Matthew Paras can be reached at mparas@washingtontimes.com.

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