Dec 22, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions defensive end Willie Young (79) before the game against the New York Giants at Ford Field. Giants beat the Lions 23-20. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Getting to know your new Chicago Bears: Willie Young


When I first heard the news break about Willie Young’s defection to Chicago, I couldn’t have been more thrilled; not only does this acquisition add quality depth to a defensive line in desperate need of it, but it keeps a productive pass rusher away from the division rival Detroit Lions.  When I saw the details of his 3-year $9 million contract, the thrill turned to shock.  How did the Bears sign such a talented, and reportedly highly sought-after, defensive end for such a low price?  I’m still not sure, but I’m glad they did.  With the further additions of Jared Allen and Lamarr Houston at the same position I doubt the plan involves him starting many games next season, but at this price tag he doesn’t need to.  However, I do expect him to play a lot of meaningful snaps this year, so I thought you guys should get to know him:

College Career: Young got plenty of experience against quality competition playing in 49 games in the ACC for North Carolina State.  In his 4-year career with the Wolfpack he registered 194 tackles, 46 tackles for loss, 20 sacks, 3 interceptions (he even returned one for a 34 yard touchdown), and 4 forced fumbles.  Young’s best season came in 2009 as a senior when he recorded 54 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, 8 sacks, 1 interception, and 2 forced fumbles.  He never missed a game during his college career.  Young had a lackluster performance at the 2010 NFL Scouting combine, leading to him falling to the 7th round where the Lions selected him with the 213th overall pick.

Pro Career: After being drafted by Detroit, Young had a slow start to his professional career and was inactive all but 2 games in his rookie season.  In 4 years with the Lions he’s tallied 72 tackles and 6 sacks.  The 2013 season was Young’s best by far when he posted 47 tackles, 3 sacks, and recovered 2 fumbles.  While the sack numbers aren’t great, he did have 48 quarterback hurries to show he can get after the opponent’s passer.  I think Young is just starting to scratch the surface of his potential and should be a high-caliber player in Chicago for years to come.

What do you guys think?  Is this guy the steal of free agency, or is he just a flash in the pan? Show me some comments!

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Tags: Chicago Bears Free Agency Willie Young

  • Jake

    Keep him away from the lions??…I am glad he’s gone not worth a roster spot on the lions..makes more dumb play’s/penalties than anyone else in the league…he’s a bum

  • Jake

    Golden Tate was the steal of free agency …Go lions!!!

  • Folt

    Jake, you sound a little bitter about losing young. Golden Tate was a decent pick up if your looking for a middle of the road receiver who is wildly known malcontent. Tough to question the signing at such a low price.

  • Matt

    I think that he will add quality depth to the Bears. He has taken some time to develop, but I think that he will earn every penny of his contract…

  • FredRay

    Crazy how the Lion fans say they can do without him. In a league where you HAVE to get pressure on QBs, Willie Young is a young player, and racks up the pressures and hurries the only thing he doesnt do is finish the play mostly because Detroit scheme is to chase the tackle to the back corners of the pocket and have Suh/Fairley push it closed. Young is a good player, and exactly what he did for DET we want him to do in CHI, pressure the QB, if the sacks dont come it’ll be because Young sent the QB in the other direction for someone else to pickup the sack.

  • Buddy guy

    This was a great move by Phil Emery and I believe Willy Young will become the biggest steel in free agency this guy is going to make noise in the NFC North!