2023 NFL Draft

2023 NFL Draft Player Profiles: Tennessee EDGE Byron Young

From now until the 2023 NFL Draft takes place, we hope to scout and create profiles for as many prospects as possible, examining their strengths, weaknesses, and what they can bring to an NFL franchise. These players could be potential top 10 picks, all the way down to Day 3 selections and priority undrafted free agents Today, I’ll be profiling Tennessee EDGE Byron Young.

#6 Byron Young, EDGE, Tennessee (R-Senior) – 6023, 250lb

Senior Bowl/Combine Invite


Player Ht/Wt Hand Size Arm Length Wingspan
Byron Young 6’2 3/8” 250lb 9 1/4 32 1/2 N/A
40-Yard Dash 10-Yard Dash Short Shuttle 3-Cone
4.43 1.62 N/A 7.19
Broad Jump Vertical Bench Press
11’0” 38.0 22

The Good

— Has the size, height, and length you want for the position
— Strong frame with notable bulk
— Has impressive speed and burst for the position
— Can get off the ball fast at the LOS, getting the corner with his speed rush
— Gets upfield quickly out of his stance, challenging OTs to run the arc
— Will convert speed to power, attempting to long arm and bull rush tackles into the lap of the QB
— Extremely effective on twists and stunts, teleporting into gaps to pressure the passer
— Plays with relentless effort, playing chase of the ball with relentless pursuit
— Effort leads to plenty of sacks and pressures on second effort
— Can hold his own on the edge against the run
— Has the athletic profile to drop into coverage and play on special teams

The Bad

— Isn’t exceptional in any measurable category
— Will be a 25-year-old rookie
— Still very raw from a technical perspective despite his age
— Doesn’t have much in the pass rush arsenal outside of his speed and bull rush
— Needs to do a better job using his hands to win as a rusher
— Will have his eyes get caught in the backfield, stalling his rush completely
— Will get stood up by bigger tackles and have rush completely neutralized if initial bull rush fails
— Doesn’t do a good job shedding blocks after OL establishes first contact
— Isn’t a natural bender around the corner
— Can cheat inside as a run defender or over pursue the football with bad angles
— Motor will run cold when he is low on gas in the tank
— Very little experience dropping into coverage


— Redshirt Senior Prospect from Georgetown, SC
— Born March 13, 1998 (age 25)
— Prepped at Carvers Bay High School in Hemingway, South Carolina
— Enrolled at Georgia Military College after high school
— No. 1 weakside defensive end and No. 11 overall junior college player by 247Sports
— Moved from South Carolina to Columbus, Georgia and served as an assistant manager at Dollar General for 18 months before earning a spot at GMC through a tryout
— Tallied 31 tackles, 11 TFLs and seven sacks during the 2019 season
— Did not play a season in the fall of 2020 due to COVID-19
— Committed to the Vols on National Signing Day in December 2020
— Played in 11 games with eight starts in 2021 and posted 46 total tackles (20 solo), 11.5 TFLs, 5.5 sacks, eight QB hurries, and an INT and two PBUs
— Started all 13 games at the LEO position and notched 37 total stops (22 solo), 12 TFLs, and seven sacks in 2022
— Ranked top five in the SEC with 42 pressures according to Pro Football Focus in 2022
— 2022 All-SEC Second Team, 2022 team captain
— Recipient of the Dr. John Range Athletic Scholarship

Tape Breakdown

Tennessee EDGE Byron Young took a different path to the pros than most college prospects. He went to junior college out of high school, starting at a Dollar General store as an assistant manager before getting a spot on the roster. He ended up having a strong 2019 season and even though he missed all of 2020 due to Covid, he was regarded as one of the top JUCO recruits in the nation and signed with Tennessee. During his time with the Vols, Young played in 24 games with 21 starts and logged 83 tackles, 23.5 tackles for loss, 12.5 sacks and 22 quarterback hurries.

When you watch Young on tape, you see a twitchy, urgent pass rusher that explodes off the ball on the snap. Watch this play against Clemson where Young gets off the ball and wins around the corner against the RT, getting into the pocket as he flattens the QB into the ground for the sack.

Byron Young plays with relentless effort on the field, whether it be as a pass rusher or in pursuit of the football against the run. Watch this effort play Young makes in the same game where he tracks down the QB in the open field as he rolls out of the pocket, shoving him down to the ground for another QB takedown.

Even when he doesn’t get home, Young’s effort leads to plenty of plays thanks to the pressure he creates. Watch this play where Young chases down the QB toward the sideline after getting off the block, hitting the passer as the heaves the ball is desperation, leading to a Hail Mary pass that is picked off by Young’s teammate, sealing the victory for the Vols.

Byron Young gets plenty of disruption as one of the better pass rushers in this class when it comes to playing games along the defensive line. Young has the first step quickness and lateral movement skills to basically teleport into gaps on twists and stunts like you see in the clips below, getting into open gaps in prime position to smack the passer.

Still, while Young’s effort gets him in on plenty of second-effort plays, you would like to see more technical wins as a pass rusher given the fact that he will be 25 in just a couple of days. Young’s pass rush repertoire is very limited, using his speed and speed to power to win on the outside. He lacks effective hand usage and has a tough time defeating blocks once engaged with OL. Watch this play where Young does manage to pressure Bryce Young as he throws the ball, but he is unable to work off the block as he crashes inside, relying on the coverage to give him time to get to the QB.

When facing bigger, stronger offensive linemen, Young can struggle to get much penetration on the pocket. Watch this rep where Young runs a twist to the inside, but the center is ready for him as Young gets passed to the RG who escorts him out of the play, being unable to get any penetration with his power rush.

While Byron Young has a motor that runs hot, he can become less effective as the game goes on and as he runs low on gas in the tank. At the end of the Alabama game this season, you could see Young was exhausted as he was unable to get much pressure on the QB in the final minutes. Watch this rep where Young jumps out of his stance, but stumbles a bit as he gets up field, allowing the tackle to set him and pick him up. Young is unable to work off the block with Bryce Young right next to him as he completes the pass over the middle of the field to keep the drive alive.


Overall, Byron Young is an athletic pass rusher that has the first step quickness and relentless effort to give opposing DLs fits. He can win around the corner and does a great jump on twists and stunts getting into gaps to affect the passer. Still, Young lacks the hand usage to consistently win around the corner as well as get off blocks against the run, leaving you with an “all-or-nothing” scenario as a pass rusher with no effective moves or counters to win if his speed or bull rush fails.

When watching Young, Jacob Martin of the Denver Broncos came to mind as a comp due to Martin having a near identical frame and pass rush style. Martin has a little more season in terms of hand usage, but is a good athlete with a lean frame that wins with speed and effort around the edge in a similar way to Young.

Byron Young profiles as a 3-4 OLB that will rush from a standup position, but could benefit from playing with his hand in the dirt as a rusher as well in the pros. He needs time to develop more hands usage, something that may be tough to stomach for some teams seeing as he will be a 25-year-old rookie. Still, he plays with the energy and juice you want on the defensive side of the football and given his athletic profile and production the last two seasons, Young could be a middle-round selection for a team like Pittsburgh who is looking for depth behind their starting pass rushers on the outside.

Projection: Late Day Two/ Early Day Three
Depot Draft Grade: 7.5 – Rotational Player (4th Round)
Games Watched: Vs Alabama (2022), Vs Clemson (2022), at Alabama (2021)


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