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Byron Young NFL Draft
NFL Draft

Can Byron Young Be A Top-50 Draft Prospect?

  • Justin Melo
  • March 1, 2023
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Tennessee EDGE Byron Young has met formally and informally with both 4-3 and 3-4 base defense teams, Young told The Draft Network at the NFL Combine. Young is a scheme-versatile defender that universally fits all 32 defensive identities. Young’s versatility could make him a top-50 selection in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Young first attached a jetpack to his pre-draft stock at this year’s Senior Bowl. Young enjoyed several fruitful practices throughout his time in Mobile while getting the better of the gauntlet of offensive tackles that attended this year’s Senior Bowl. Young continues to impress general managers and scouts alike at the combine while discussing his ability to rush quarterbacks from two-and-three-point stances. Young is wholly aware of what NFL franchises want to see from him during on-field workouts.

“My footwork and lateral movement,” Young told The Draft Network when asked about areas of focus throughout on-field drills. “They’re [teams] really going to be keying in on my technique during the drills. I’m prepared for that,” Young concluded.

The No. 85 overall prospect in our latest TDN100 update, Young is being underrated by some of our in-house scouts. Young maximizes his athletic traits and strings together counter-moves as a pass rusher. As a run defender, Young competes on a snap-by-snap basis to maintain his fits, giving him three-down appeal.

Young has a variety of pass-rush moves that made him a difficult matchup for opposing offensive tackles. Young possesses a long-arm that stuns would-be blockers. Young also converts speed to power at an alarming rate and has recently implemented the ghost rush into his toolbox. Young’s arsenal is predicated on those three moves.

Young’s journey to the 2023 NFL Draft has been a whirlwind. Young worked as an assistant manager at Dollar General before accepting a JUCO tryout with Georgia Military College in 2019. Young eventually arrived at Tennessee in 2021 where the Georgetown, South Carolina native recorded 83 tackles, 12.5 sacks, and 23.5 tackles for loss across two campaigns for the Volunteers.

Young recorded career-highs in sacks (7.0) and tackles for loss (12.0) in 2022. The former JUCO standout displayed a newly unlocked comfort level against SEC offensive linemen. Young showcases outstanding athleticism and flexibility on tape. Young hustles with the red-hot motor of a defender that’s taken a difficult and unlikely path to the 2023 draft. He simply won’t be denied. Young studies some of the top pass rushers around the NFL while attempting to model his game after productive defenders.

“Khalil Mack is my favorite player,” Young said at the NFL Combine. “Micah Parsons is another defender I watch in the league.”

Young was the No. 54 overall selection for the Chicago Bears in Joe Marino’s latest NFL mock draft. Young has been on the top-50 radar since January. Young can confirm that status with standout testing numbers at this week’s combine.

The 2023 EDGE class is loaded with potentially difference-making quarterback hunters. Young is particularly versatile. Young is currently positioning himself as a top-50 NFL draft selection.

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Justin Melo