According to USA sportsbooks, the 2020 NFL draft, defensive end Chase Young and cornerback Jeff Okudah are two of the most exciting defensive prospects. Ohio State’s loss is the NFL’s gain. Young finished the 2019 season with 16.5 sacks, 46 tackles, seven forced fumbles, three passes batted down, and a blocked field goal. His 16.5 sacks set a new single-season school record. Young won several awards and honors for his performance in his junior season.
Those included the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, Chuck Bednarik Award, Ted Hendricks Award, Chicago Tribune Silver Football, Nagurski–Woodson Defensive Player of the Year, and Smith–Brown Defensive Lineman of the Year. Additionally, he was unanimously named to the 2019 All-Big Ten and All-America Teams. Moreover, he was named a finalist for the Walter Camp Award, Maxwell Award, and Heisman Trophy. Thus, he became only the ninth defensive player since 1982 to be nominated for the latter. Young finished his career at OSU with 30.5 total sacks, ranking him second all-time behind Mike Vrabel. Meanwhile, Okudah had 34 tackles, 9 passes defensed, and 3 interceptions also in 2019. He was unanimously named to the 2019 College Football All-America Team, and named a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award.
2020 NFL Draft Position Odds by BetOnline.ag
NFL Draft 2020: Draft Position of Chase Young
|2.5 (+280)||2.5 (-358)|
Young was born in Upper Marlboro, Maryland and played at St. Vincent Pallotti High School in Laurel and DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, both in Maryland. His draft selection could become a prodigal son story. The general consensus among USA sportsbooks is that the D.C. area Native will be the 2nd overall pick. Which would in turn mean that he would be selected by the Washington Redskins. “It would definitely be an honor to play at home,” Young said. “Not a lot of people get the opportunity to play for their hometown football team. God willing, He gives me the chance to do it, then — like any team I go to — I’m gonna be the best player I can be.”
And the best player he can be is exactly that. if you believe the hype, and Young certainly does. “I definitely think I’m the best player in the draft,” he said in February. “I think I showed on my tape, you can look at every game, I think I showed [it]. And I put my best foot forward this year. … I think I bring a lot to the table, the whole package as a defensive end.” He’s not just tooting his own horn either. Here’s a bunch of dudes vouching for him.
NFL Draft 2020: Draft Position of Jeff Okudah
|4.5 (-167)||4.5 (+137)|
Three cornerbacks have been in the top five of the NFL draft betting in the past 17 years; Denzel Ward, Jalen Ramsey and Patrick Peterson. All three considered among the best at their position. Okudah could very well become the fourth. If the Detroit Lions select him as the 3rd overall pick, as most USA sportsbooks project the team to do. “I would put Okudah down as the safest [option for the Lions],” NFL analyst Daniel Jeremiah said. “I know exactly what position he plays, I’ve seen him play that position against elite competition and I’ve seen him play at a very high, consistent level.” Fellow NFL analyst Greg Cosell went as to compare Okudah to Champ Bailey:
“The NFL game has very much become a quick passing game. The game itself overall becomes much quicker and the ability to disrupt receivers off the line of scrimmage has become increasingly important which is why man coverage and the ability to play press man has become increasingly important; you can make the argument that a player like Jeff Okudah is more important than Chase Young. “He kind of reminds me of on tape…the way he played…reminds me of Champ Bailey.” Bailey was a 12-time Pro Bowler, seven-time All-Pro, intercepted 52 passes and broke up 142 passes.
There is one last thing to consider, though. Rumor has it that Detroit might trade out of the No. 3 overall pick. For example, Miami may want to improve their odds at getting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa by trading up to the third overall pick. The Lions would still be able to pick Okudah if such a trade came to fruition, but it would be a no. 5. In which case the over would be the winning bet.