The rookie pass rushers in the class of 2020, led by Chase Young, have struggled.
The 2020 NFL Draft class was not known for its stellar pass rush crop, even with superstar Chase Young at the top of the group.
Although it’s not uncommon for rookies at any respective position group to struggle early on, it’s been a particular struggle for the 2020 pass rush class.
Chase Young has the most quarterback pressures of any 2020 rookie so far with six, which ranks tied for 88th in the entire league among qualifying defensive players.
Let’s take a look at the group of defensive front seven players in the first two rounds of the 2020 NFL Draft and how their pass rush talents have translated thus far.
Chase Young (Washington Football Team)
6 pressures, 2.5 sacks, 2 QB hits (all stats via Pro Football Reference)
Early on, Young was dominating for the Washington Football Team, but his production has cooled off lately.
Derrick Brown (Carolina Panthers)
1 pressure, 1 QB hit
Isaiah Simmons (Arizona Cardinals)
0 pressures, 0 QB hits
Javon Kinlaw (San Francisco 49ers)
6 pressures, 1 QB hit
K’Lavon Chaisson (Jacksonville Jaguars)
4 pressures, 1 sack, 2 QB hits
Yetur Gross-Matos (Carolina Panthers)
4 pressures, 1 sack, 1 QB hit
In addition to all of these players, Ross Blacklock of the Houston Texans has no quarterback hits so far. Marlon Davidson of the Atlanta Falcons doesn’t have one either.
AJ Epenesa, who was taken near the bottom of round two, has a pair of pressures, hits, and a sack.
Baltimore Ravens first-round linebacker Patrick Queen wasn’t selected necessarily for his pass rush skills, but he has arguably been the strongest pass rusher of the entire 2020 rookie class so far with five pressures, five QB hits, and a pair of sacks.
Not that any rookie should be expected to lead the league in pressures or sacks, but to barely have anyone in the top 100 of the entire league is slightly surprising.
There is no question some of these players are making an impact in other facets of the game, which isn’t to be ignored or slighted.
Hopefully, for the teams that made these big investments, the tide will turn rather quickly and these big-time pass rush talents will start producing in terms of pressures, hits, and ultimately sacks.