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How the 49ers could wind up getting a better draft pick in return for Chase Young

Young showed how much of an impact he can make with the 49ers in just one game

San Francisco 49ers v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images

Chase Young’s box score reads that he finished his 49er debut with one tackle, which was a half sack, and another quarterback hit. But it was Young’s presence which opened up things for the rest of his teammates.

With a competent edge rusher opposite of Nick Bosa, defensive coordinator Steve Wilks could move the reigning Defensive Player of the Year around more. Arik Armstead and Javon Hargrave were ensured 1-on-1’s. Bosa, Armstead, and Hargrave each finished with a sack.

Fred Warner joked that Young has been the missing link: “I think he fit in great. I guess that as the missing link right there. Playing dominant defense again. It feels so good having him out there. He brings such great energy.”

While it may seem like a stretch to say the 49ers will have 5+ sacks a game every time Young is on the field with them, it’s impossible to ignore the consistent pressure they put on Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence.

There’s a scenario where San Francisco can not only receive a similar draft pick that they sent to Washington to acquire Young, but actually get back a higher pick, depending on how free agency shakes out.

Peter King highlighted the scenario in his Football Morning In America column on Monday:

Let’s assume Young is a rental for the 49ers, and signs a free agent deal elsewhere for, say, $23 million a year in March 2024. It’s likely the Niners will get a third-round Compensatory Pick in return in the 2025 draft—unless they sign another high-priced free agent or two, which is unlikely given their current salary structure and need to re-sign their own top players. If Young leaves and the 49ers get a third-round pick in return, the pick would be likely be somewhere in the 97 to 101 range. Let’s, for fun, call it the 99th pick.

So this trade could end up being:

San Francisco trades the 101st pick in 2024 to Washington

San Francisco acquires Young for the final nine regular-season games in 2023 and possibly some number of postseason games, plus the 99th pick in 2025.

Imagine getting the benefit of Young for 11 or 12 games—and then a slightly better draft pick than you traded for him.

The biggest concern surrounding Young is his health. The Commanders reportedly had to lower their asking price due to injury concerns about Young. Teams likely had a difficult time parting ways with anything higher than a Day 3 pick, given Chase’s history.

But Sunday showed what he can be, and the impact Young could have on an already star-studded defense. If the former Ohio State product stays healthy, whatever happens this offseason will be a win-win for the 49ers.