Draft 2023 – Pick #2: Byron Young, OLB, Tennessee

Player Bio
Young was out of football for 18 months after graduating from Carvers Bay High School in South Carolina, working as an assistant manager at Dollar General in Columbus, Georgia, before trying out for the team at Georgia Military College. He had seven sacks his first year there and was rated as a top-15 overall junior college recruit after 2020, even though the team didn’t play that season due to COVID-19 concerns. Young started eight of 11 games and led Tennessee with 11.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks in his first season with the Vols. He garnered first-team All-SEC honors as a senior, leading the team with seven sacks among his 37 tackles, 12 for loss. — by Chad Reuter

By Lance Zierlein – NFL Analyst
Draft Projection, Rounds 2-3

An explosive edge defender with disruptive play qualities, Young is still in the process of learning how to play his position. His rush hands lack skill and he’s missing go-to counters, but that could be coachable for him. He creates chaos when using his twitchy first step to slant and twist but still needs to tune up the stack-and-shed technique and build out a cohesive rush approach. He will be a 25-year-old rookie with a lack of polish for his age, which could be a deterrent for some teams, but a fully fueled motor and strong desire to make plays on the other side of the line of scrimmage give him a shot to become a capable pro.

  • Chiseled, athletic body type with proportional length.
  • Plays with great motor and determination.
  • Twitchy athlete with sudden changes of direction.
  • Fires out of stance with a strong, leveraged punch.
  • Elite first-step quickness for gap disruption.
  • Hustle and burst to collect sacks with secondary rush.
  • Slashing quickness for successful tackle/end twists.
  • Brief splashes of eye-catching man cover talent on tape.
  • Muscular but lacking pure mass in lower half.
  • Contact balance is average at point of attack.
  • Below average technique to stack and shed the block.
  • Needs hands to catch up with his feet.
  • Rush requires development of moves and counters.
  • Not a natural bend-and-corner rusher.
  • Hands are flailing and unfocused at the top of the rush.
Sources Tell Us
“He really appreciates every second he’s on the field and our coaches would love that. He probably ends up standing, but I think he’ll be better with a hand in the ground.” — Regional scout for AFC team

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