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NFL Scouting Combine

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O'HARA: Chase Young thinks he's the best player in the 2020 Draft

INDIANAPOLIS – All the analysts who think Ohio State edge rusher Chase Young is the best prospect in the 2020 NFL draft have company.

So does Chase Young.

He answered directly to a direct question about where he ranks in his media interview Thursday at the NFL Combine.

"I definitely think I'm the best player in the draft," Young replied, without hesitation. "I showed it on my tape. You can go to every game, I think I showed it. I put my best foot forward this year. I grinded hard. I do things through hard work and dedication.

"I'm going to bring those things to the NFL with me."

View photos from media availability at the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020 in Indianapolis.

Despite the glittering resume Young compiled in three seasons at Ohio State, which included a school record 17 sacks in 2019 in his third and final season, he won't be the first player drafted.

Quarterbacks rule in the NFL because of the value of the position. Quarterback Joe Burrow of LSU is a lock to be drafted first overall by the Cincinnati Bengals.

Young won't be on the board long after that. Most experts have him going to Washington at No. 2, unless the Redskins trade down to a team that wants to draft a quarterback with the second pick.

That would be a dream scenario for the Detroit Lions. They could fill their greatest need by drafting Young with the third pick.

"I'm not worried about who might draft me," Young said. "Wherever I go, I'll go."

Young made a good impression in his 15-minute media interview. He was engaged throughout the session, making eye contact with those who asked questions, and giving precise answers.

He spoke highly of Ohio State's coaches and support staff, as well as how veteran players mentored him. He talked about the advice he got on how to approach the Combine.

"They just said, 'Be a pro,'" Young said. "That's what I've been trying to do. When I get here, don't goof off. Treat everybody with respect.

"That's what I've done my whole time here."

Young obviously is comfortable being in the spotlight. His personality shows through. An example of that was his reaction to the shout out on Twitter he got from LeBron James when he returned to the field after serving a two-game suspension for accepting a loan in 2018. Young said he paid it back.

"Welcome back MONSTER!! #ChaseYoung" James tweeted when Young returned to play against Penn State.

James is an Akron native and is an Ohio State fan.

"It means a lot," Young said. "I never thought the best player in the world would be a fan of me. It's a blessing."

Young will not participate in the Combine drills. He'll do position drills at his Pro Day.

"Me and my team, we decided that," Young said. "I don't want to waste time trying to be a Combine athlete. When I step on the field, I want to put my best foot forward to being the best player I can be."

Young is willing to play anywhere, and at 6-5, 264 with big hands and long arms he has the physical tools to do just that. His performance in 2019 showed that he's big-time playmaker. He had 21 tackles for loss with the 17 sacks while playing only 12 games because of the suspension.

Young ticked off moving inside to a gap at defensive tackle to rush the passer, moving outside as a down lineman or standing up at linebacker to drop back and cover tight ends.

"I'll do anything a team needs me to do, and I feel I can do it," he said. "I'm going to come in with that mindset. Right now, I'm getting myself prepared to do everything across the board."

The only question is what team he'll do it for.

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