It was no secret that the Los Angeles Rams needed to load up on linebackers during the 2018 NFL Draft. They did just that when they added talent in the later rounds, including Louisville edge rusher Trevon Young. The question is what does Young bring to the table as a sixth round prospect?
Boom or Bust
Put simply, Young is a “boom or bust” prospect. He possesses the coveted body frame for an NFL linebacker standing at 6’4” and weighing about 254 pounds. He began putting that physique to good use for the Cardinals in 2015, when he accumulated 32 tackles and 8.5 sacks. Sadly, his promising season ended in tragedy after dislocating and fracturing his hip during the Music City Bowl. This devastating injury kept him out of action for the entire 2016 season.
Young made a comeback in 2017, but he didn’t possess the explosiveness he had prior to the injury. His skills appeared to have diminished, despite recording 62 tackles and 4.5 sacks. This evaluation followed him into the NFL Combine and seriously effected his draft stock. This once-promising athlete fell all the way down to the Rams at pick 205.
Making it Back
Young’s hip remains a concern. His hip appears stiff, and he struggles to use it effectively. Young’s lower body lacks strength, flexibility and quick movements, and his initial burst suffers because of it. He doesn’t have much strength in his hands, and he forgets to take advantage of his size at times. These weaknesses led many experts to believe that he should transition strictly to a 3-4 outside linebacker.
Despite all of the negatives, Young still holds some promise. On top of being a leader and possessing a strong work ethic, his tackling skills are technically impressive. His arm length and athleticism make him an intriguing prospect, especially at outside linebacker. Young also showed flashes of his old self toward the end of his senior season with the Cardinals. Perhaps he could reach his potential under the right coaching, and Rams defensive coordinator Wade Phillips may be the man to guide him.
In essence, the reward far outweighs the risk. The Rams may have invested in a gem if Young pans out. If 100 percent healthy and committed, Young should at the very least provide depth. If he struggles at the NFL level, then Young only costs them a sixth round draft pick.