2019 Raiders Draft Prospect Profile
Name: Jalen Young
Position: Defensive Back
School: Florida Atlantic University
Weight: 180 pounds
Draft Projection: Day 3
Depending on where he plays in the secondary, the evaluation of Young’s speed fluctuates. That is to say, if lined up on the outside, Young possesses adequate speed. Meaning, he can sticks stride-for-stride with many receivers. With shorter, quicker steps, Young’s burst continues regardless of route. Meanwhile, as a safety or slot corner, Young’s speed graduates to excellent. In addition, as a centerfielder, he patrols the deep boundary with ease of motion.
From the safety spot, Young displays a feel for route, predicting patterns and capitalizing off mistakes. If you watch closely, you can tell that Young picked up veteran tricks during his career in Boca Raton. For instance, Young’s hands or arms will contact the wideout just a tick before the ball approaches. That timing will throw off the rhythm of the receiver.
When lining up in the slot, Young brings twitch, shutting down option routes and cutting under crossing routes. More importantly, he will bend around rub routes. Moreover, in run support, he will capitalize on the slightest bit of daylight to make the tackle. For a defensive back, 10.5 TFL means Young needed to slip larger blockers.
With a draft full of defensive backs with ballhawk tendencies, people underrate Young’s ability to secure the pick. Thirteen interceptions speak for itself. Yet, if you look behind the pick, realize what is at play. Young shows no hesitation in undercutting or running the pattern for the wideout. Although he stands under
First, Young’s hands remained quick and deceptively strong for his size. That leads in his ability to make sound, technical tackles. Despite his 180 pounds, he will put all of it behind his tackles. In addition, those same hands are exceptional at punching the ball out in a hurry.
In the AFC West, teams need deeper, more talented safety. Every team in the division will test the Raiders with the deep ball. As a result, the need for slot/nickel defenders increases. By adding Young later in the draft, Oakland will employ another weapon with coverage and ball skills. It is not just important to stay with receivers, the secondary needs to take chances to force turnovers. Before the combine, Young presents as a Day 3 selection. Due to his nose for the ball and ability to hit, his stick could slightly rise going into the draft.