Nothing new in the world of the Atlanta Falcons. They were and still are trying to find a franchise pass rusher. They had their eyes set on Montez Sweat but were undercut by the feeble Chicago Bears.
Fans thought they should have gone with the other Commanders pass rusher Chase Young who was traded to the 49ers for a third-round pick. While it might seem like trading a third-round pick for Chase Young would have been worth it, the Falcons were actually smart to not take the bait.
Atlanta Falcons made the right move by avoiding Chase Young
Remember when all the Atlanta Falcons fans were screaming at the team to tank for Chase Young in 2019? Young ended up going second overall to the Commanders in the 2020 NFL Draft—the same draft that the Falcons were able to snag A.J. Terrell at pick 16. That is exactly why you do not tank...
Anyway, Chase Young has had a tough NFL career to this point. As a rookie, he missed one game and ended as the Defensive Rookie of the Year and made a Pro Bowl with his 7.5 sacks. It was a good year for a young player.
However, since then, he has totaled 6.5 sacks across two-and-a-half seasons and only played in 19 games. Five of those sacks have come this year.
Young is playing the best football of his career right now, but has he proven to be a consistently healthy player? Absolutely not. He has played in only seven games this year and there is zero reason to believe he will play in all 17.
Outside of that, there have been questions about his work ethic and his discipline on the field. Michael Silver, a trusted NFL reporter, said that Washington viewed him as "undisciplined" and a player who goes for "splash plays." Those are concerning reports that didn't come out of nowhere.
Think about it, what is the difference between Chase Young and Jeff Okudah when it comes to trade value? Both were/are extremely talented players out of Ohio State who were top-five picks but have been unable to stay healthy. The Falcons were able to get Okudah for a fifth-round pick and it, so far, has worked out. Young, meanwhile, fetched a third-round pick, and who knows if he will turn out.
Third-round picks are more valuable than fans realize. You shouldn't just view them as a throwaway pick. Plenty of great players have been taken in the third round (Russell Wilson, Cooper Kupp, Travis Kelce, Mark Andrews, the list goes on and on).
The only argument that makes me pause is that Terry Fontenot hasn't done a great job using his picks. So far, that has been true but you cannot blame him for trusting himself and his scouting department.
Call me crazy but Chase Young was not worth a third-round pick based on his massive injury concerns and questionable mindset on the field. Maybe a fifth-round pick would have been worth the risk, similar to Jeff Okudah, but I do not blame Fontenot for not taking the Chase Young bait.