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2020 NFL Draft: What makes Chase Young the best pass-rusher of the PFF era?

Chase Young is one of the best prospects to come into the NFL in years, yet somehow he’s being quietly overshadowed in this draft process thanks to one of the best quarterback prospects we've ever seen, along with countless other lines of intrigue complicated further by all of the unique challenges thrown up by Covid-19. 

Everybody has just quietly accepted that he’s an excellent prospect, and even PFF’s own analytics and data has been a part of pushing attention elsewhere because of the inherent positional value in quarterback, corner and receiver. As good as edge rushers are, the data says they belong lower down the pecking order than originally thought when roster building.

[Editor’s note: Check out PFF’s 2020 Mock Draft HubNFL Draft Big Board and NFL Mock Draft Simulator. PFF Elite subscribers can also download the 1,100-page 2020 NFL Draft Guide.]

So let’s take a second to truly appreciate how special Young is as we lead up to the draft. What’s useful here is that two of the best edge rushing prospects of recent years preceded Young at Ohio State — the Bosa brothers — so we can get closer to direct and fair comparisons. The other top prospect in PFF’s time grading college football was Myles Garrett, so any analysis of Young’s talent has to compare to those three players.

Garrett was the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, and there has been a history of top edge rushers going at the top of the draft — but only if there wasn’t also a surefire quarterback in the same draft. That’s what hurts Young this year.

PFF’s first year grading college football was 2014, so we are missing the first season of Joey Bosa’s career, but outside of that we have the complete college data set from all of these players.

Player PFF Career Grade PFF Pass-Rushing Grade Pass-Rush Win Rate Pressure % Total Pressures
Chase Young 94.9 95.4 22.3% 18.0% 150
Myles Garrett 93.6 94.4 20.8% 17.7% 164
Nick Bosa 94.7 93.6 25.9% 20.2% 117
Joey Bosa 93.1 93.0 21.2% 17.6% 145

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