Tennessee football’s Byron Young was selected by the Los Angeles Rams in the third round of the 2023 NFL Draft.
Young is a 6-foot-2, 250-pound edge rusher from Georgetown, South Carolina. He was an All-SEC first-team selection in 2022.
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Young is an explosive edge rusher with a fast first step, raw athleticism and a high-energy style of play.
He has top-end speed for his position, which was demonstrated with a 4.43 time in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Young is hungry to succeed. He worked at a Dollar General, Burger King and Circle K gas station while trying to get a chance to play Division I college football. He played at a prep school, which shut down, and then at a junior college, which canceled its season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Once given a chance at the SEC level, Young produced. In two seasons at Tennessee, he played 24 games with 21 starts. He had 83 tackles, 23½ tackles-for-loss, 12½ sacks and 22 quarterback hurries.
Young is 25 years old. So even though his background suggests an upward trajectory, his ceiling could be lower because of his age.
Young is fast and twitchy, but his motor sometimes overwhelmed his instincts. He could rely on his speed to get to the right spot, but it also could put him in the wrong position.
There’s also a question of his position, which is typical for tweener edge rushers. Young could have his hand in the ground as a traditional defensive end or stand as an outside linebacker.
Young has elite explosion and an unmatched desire to make it in the pros. Those traits are essential for players who want to survive and hopefully thrive at the line of scrimmage in the NFL.
Young will be an intriguing project for a defensive line coach because it seems like he still has untapped potential. If so, he’ll be a willing pupil. The question is whether his skillset will translate smoothly to the scheme he’s placed in.
Adam Sparks is the Tennessee football beat reporter. Emailadam.email@example.com. Twitter@AdamSparks. Support strong local journalism by subscribing atknoxnews.com/subscribe.