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How two defensive linemen named Byron Young could be selected in NFL Draft

In 2021, the Jets drafted Michael Carter. Forty-seven picks later, they drafted Michael Carter. 

Yes, there were two prospects named Michael Carter in the same draft. Both were drafted on the same day, and both came from ACC schools. One was a running back while the other was a cornerback. That made the picks more discernable for Jets fans. 

A similar scenario could play out in this year’s draft. There are two defensive linemen from the same conference with the same name, and one could be selected near the other in April.

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The Sporting News has the story of Byron Young squared. 

Are there two Byron Youngs in the 2023 NFL Draft?

There are two prospects named Byron Young in the 2023 NFL Draft. The similarities go beyond their name. Both are defensive linemen, both played in the SEC, and both played in the 2023 Senior Bowl. 

Tennessee defensive end Byron Young told he first became aware there was another Byron Young early in his college career, when Alabama fans started sending him congratulatory tweets. 

“For us to both be playing on the D-line in the SEC at the same time, what are the chances?” Young said.

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Alabama’s Byron Young also spoke to, referring to his Tennessee counterpart as “a great dude” and revealing that they trained together for three weeks leading up to the Senior Bowl. 

The Tennessee defensive end said he told the coaches he could be called “BY,” while the Alabama defensive lineman could just be called Byron. Here’s hoping they don’t end up on the same NFL team and recreate the confusion. 

Alabama’s Byron Young

Alabama’s Byron Young has one degree of separation from Tennessee’s Byron Young, thanks to his position. The Tide’s Young is primarily a run defender as a defensive tackle. He made 25 starts for the Crimson Tide and earned All-SEC honors in 2022. At close to 300 pounds, he relies on sheer power rather than athleticism. 

Young projects as a third- or fourth-round pick. SN’s Vinnie Iyer ranks him 68th on his big board of 2023 NFL Draft prospects.

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Tennessee’s Byron Young

Tennessee’s Byron Young profiles as more of a pass-rusher as a defensive end.

A two-year player with the Volunteers after starting his career in junior college, Young recorded seven sacks and 12 tackles for loss in 2022. He had 5.5 sacks, one interception and 11.5 tackles for loss in 10 games in 2021. 

SN’s Vinnie Iyer has Young ranked 78th on his big board of 2023 NFL Draft prospects. He’s more athletic than his Alabama namesake and likely has a higher ceiling. He, too, projects as a third- or fourth-round pick.


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