INDIANAPOLIS — Chase Young was watching when the Giants went down to FedEx Field and defeated the Redskins, 41-35, when Daniel Jones tossed a touchdown pass in overtime to tight end Kaden Smith in an all-rookie connection. Young is from Maryland and said he tunes in for every Redskins game.
Little did he know at the time, the result of that game likely had a direct impact on where he will embark upon his NFL career. The Giants won just four games in 2019, and beating the Redskins on Dec. 16 affected the draft position for both teams.
The Giants hold the No. 4 pick. The Redskins sit at No. 2, putting them in prime position to land local product Young after the Bengals presumably select quarterback Joe Burrow.
A victory in the final month of the season was not enough to save Pat Shurmur’s job, but it did — unless something unexpected happens at the top end of the draft — allow the most gifted pass-rusher available to slip away.
“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. You can go to every game. I think I showed it. I definitely think I’ll put my best foot forward this year. I grinded hard. Two of my biggest things are my hard work and dedication, and I’m gonna bring those two to the NFL with me.’’
The Redskins made some noise this week when new head coach Ron Rivera said his team will meet with Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa — raising speculation he is not high on Dwayne Haskins, who is coming off a so-so rookie year. If the Redskins take a quarterback and the Lions trade out of the No. 3 spot to allow a team to move up for a quarterback — Justin Herbert or, if someone sees Utah’s Jordan Love as another Patrick Mahomes — Young could slide to the Giants at No. 4.
Far-fetched scenario? Sure. But not impossible.
Young and Haskins were teammates at Ohio State, and the two have talked about pairing up again with the Redskins.
“He definitely loves the organization and obviously wants me to come play with him,’’ Young said. “We’ll see how this whole thing turns out.’’
Though Young insists he is not pulling for one team to take him over another, going to the Redskins at No. 2 would be beneficial, and not just financially.
“It’d mean a lot,’’ he said. “Playing in front of my hometown people, it’d definitely be a blessing. Everybody who has known me since I was younger could come to a game and things like that, but right now, I’m not focused on who could draft me. I’m focused on being the best player, the best person, I could be and impress the coaches at the combine.’’
Young, as a junior in 2019, broke the Ohio State single-season record with 16.5 sacks. In a draft bereft of great talent or depth in the pass-rushing department, Young stands alone.
“I’m definitely excited to play with a big dogs,’’ Young said, “and excited to show the world what I can do.’’