Christian Young NFL Draft Scouting Report
SAF, Arizona Wildcats
Christian Young is a starting safety for the Arizona Wildcats. The former consensus 3-star recruit was sought after for more than football. Young lettered in football, basketball, and track & field. Texas State recruited him to join its track program. Young’s presence on the Wildcats’ defense was felt throughout his career. He developed into a reliable starter, swiss army knife, and team captain over time.
Young is a versatile defender with plus straight-line speed. He aligns all over the Wildcats’ defense, including free safety, nickel/dime backer, and outside corner. Young has good value in the box versus the run. I appreciate the toughness he plays with to take on climbing offensive linemen and being in position to make a play on the football. He competes at a high level. Young does a solid job squeezing gaps and space, limiting the room for the running back to work into the lane.
As a pass defender, he shows the versatility to drop into zone and line up in man coverage. Young has the size and athleticism combination to match up with tight ends. His physical style can disrupt their routes by jockeying for positioning mid-stem. He does align as the center field free safety and two-high safety shell coverages. Due to his sprinter speed, Young can disguise coverages starting in the box before dropping deep as a trap defender and undercutting deep overs/benders. He is a good option for quarterback spy duties versus athletic/mobile passers.
Despite the versatility of Young’s skill set, he may not wear as many hats in the NFL. There is some transitional hip tightness that will limit where he can be utilized. Especially as a potential free safety in the middle of the field, hip transitions are important to defending sideline to sideline. Young has to improve his tackling too—20 missed tackles in a single season is far too many. Missing tackles in space by not properly breaking down to square up and drive through the ball carrier can limit playing time. The flashes of plus coverage skills are enticing, but I have concerns with Young’s inability to turn and locate the football. Even in phase, he does not seem to remain calm throughout the rep to find the ball and make a play.
Young is a swiss army knife prospect at the safety position. I project him to be more of a rotational depth safety and special teamer early in his career—possibly the third safety that can play in those big nickel and dime packages. I believe Young is best suited in this type of role and closer to the box than back deep in coverage.
Top Reasons to Buy In:
- Straight-line speed/athleticism
- Swiss army knife
Top Reasons For Concern:
- Ball production
Weight: 225 lbs
Arm Length: TBD
Hand Size: TBD
Athletic Testing (TBD):
40-yard Dash: TBD
Vertical Jump: TBD
Broad Jump: TBD
Bench Reps: TBD
Ideal Role: Low-hole strong safety with nickel/dime capabilities
Scheme Fit: Mixture of man and zone
TDN Consensus Grade: 74.00/100 (Fourth-Round Value)
- Parson Grade: 74.00/100
Written By: Damian Parson
Exposures: Oregon (2022), USC (2022), Mississippi State (2022)
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