It has come to everyone’s attention that the 24-year-old defensive end does not want to continue his career in Jacksonville. After Yannick Ngakoue tweeted out this morning he would like to move on from the Jags the NFL and media were buzzing.
There are many reasons why the Philadelphia Eagles would be interested in Yannick Ngakoue. Let’s start with he is 24 years old. Howie mentioned that getting younger was important. Nothing is truer in the defensive end position. Brandon Graham and Vinny Curry both are 31 years old. Brandon is still playing at a high level and Vinny is a decent role player.
That leaves you with a few other younger options. Derek Barnet is not living up to the hype as a first-round pick who broke the University of Tennessee’s career sack record of 32 formerly held by Reggie White. Josh Sweat who had a decent 2019 campaign with 21 tackles, 5 assisted tackles and 4 sacks. Shareef Miller is still a big question mark since being drafted.
After being selected by the Jaguars in the 3rd round (69th pick overall) of the 2016 NFL Draft, Ngakoue continues to excel at his position. In 2019 he tallied up 41 tackles, 8 sacks, an interception, 4 forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, 6 passes defended and a defensive touchdown. He is not a fluke player either. He had an impressive rookie season with 23 tackles, 8 sacks, a pick, and 4 forced fumbles. 2017 was a breakout season for Yannick with 30 tackles, 12 sacks, 6 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries, and a defensive score, topped off with a Pro Bowl appearance. Ngakoue had a solid campaign in 2018, totaling 28 tackles and 9.5 sacks. He continues to evolve even when his team was struggling.
Not To Ngakoue
One of the only reasons to not pursue Yannick would be the price tag. Yannick Ngakoue signed a 4 year, $3,480,587 contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars, including an $856,176 signing bonus, $856,176 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $870,147. He is now an unrestricted free agent but the Jags could try to slap the franchise tag on him and try to trade him.
Ngakoue had reportedly sought a deal that would pay him up to $22 million annually with the Jaguars last August, which would have made him the highest-paid defensive end in the NFL. DeMarcus Lawrence’s $21 million average is the current highest.
Some other reasons would be him being undersized as an edge rusher. Yannick is 6-2, 246lbs and needs to be in the right system to thrive. In comparison, Brandon Graham is 6’2 and weighs 269lbs. That is a 23-pound differential. There’s no denying his ability to get to the quarterback and alter the game.
Ngakoue is subpar in tackling, having a missed tackle percentage over 19% in the last two seasons. Teams are going to pay him to be a sack artist. He also is improving against the run, which was a major weakness in Ngakoue’s game when he entered the league.
Ultimately it would be the price tag that would or would not make the Eagles a possible landing spot. Knowing his age and abilities the price will be high. Then again we have seen Howie work his magic in this department. I am interested in seeing how this plays out. For more Eagles coverage click here.