In the upcoming months, we’ll take the time to discuss all of the promising options that the 2020 NFL Draft will have to offer. But for one more week, we’re in the midst of the Chase Young sweepstakes, and for the Detroit Lions, suddenly the dreams of landing the premier Ohio State edge rusher are closer to reality than ever.
With the Cincinnati Bengals presumed to target their franchise quarterback with the first overall pick, there is currently only one team standing between Detroit and Young: Washington.
At 3-12, Washington currently holds the two spot in the draft, and with a trip to a desperate Dallas team on the horizon in Week 17, it seems unlikely that Washington relinquishes their grasp on the No. 2 pick.
So then the question becomes: Is there any chance that Young slips by Washington and right into the Lions’ lap?
According to PFF’s latest mock draft, the answer is no. Young is snapped up by Washington, leaving his teammate, cornerback Jeff Okudah, to the Lions with the third overall pick.
But that pick would be far from locked in. Washington doesn’t have a lot of strengths right now, but the defensive front may be considered one. They’re currently eighth in the NFL in sack rate and they’ve spent two first-round picks on edge defenders in the past three years (Montez Sweat and Jonathan Allen).
With a pick that high, Washington could also target a much-needed left tackle, after leaving their relationship with franchise player Trent Williams in shatters with an ugly holdout/failed trade/cancer treatment. Georgia’s Andrew Thomas, USC’s Austin Jackson or either of Alabama’s tackles (Jedrick Wills or Alex Leatherwood) could be in consideration for the top 10.
Of course, if Washington feels they have too many other needs to address and can afford to pass on an elite talent like Young, they would be in a prime position to trade down. Not only will there be plenty of other pass-rush hungry teams behind them eager for a shot at Young, but there should be plenty of teams searching for their franchise quarterback currently slated to pick in the top 10 (the Jaguars, Chargers, Panthers and Dolphins come to mind).
If we take a peek over at our friends at Hogs Haven, Washington fans appear to be a little split on what they should do with the second overall pick.
“I know there’s an argument for the Skins to spend the pick on a LT, but the organization has other assets (cap space, tradeable vets) to solve that need,” one commenter wrote. “None of those assets can give WSH a generational talent.”
“Anybody else tired of the team drafting DEs and trying to fit them into a 3-4 as a OLB?” another wrote.
Overall, it seems a bit unlikely that Young would fall to three. Even if Washington were to value need over talent—which is typically a bad strategy this high in the draft—the Lions would have to cross their fingers and hope one of the 29 teams behind them doesn’t fall too much in love with Young and swap with a pick-hungry Washington team likely eager to load up on additional draft picks.