One of the key rookies on the retooled Jacksonville Jaguars offense, Yannick Ngakoue is already making an impact.
Yannick Ngakoue. It might be a name that you are still learning to say if you are a Jacksonville Jaguars fan. It might be a name that commentators and those outside of Duval (and Maryland) that don’t even recognise. But no doubt the rookie defensive end in #91 is someone that opposition quarterbacks will be increasingly aware of…whether they can pronounce his name or not.
"For those calling the Jaguars games this year… it is pronounced Yah-NEEK In-GACK-way. Get practicing!"
A 3rd round pick out of Maryland (69th overall), Ngakoue was part of a huge defensive overhaul this season. The explosive pass rusher pulled on the teal with perhaps less fanfare than more recognized new recruits Jalen Ramsey, Myles Jack, and Malik Jackson. It took less than a quarter of pre-season action for his profile to explode thanks to a big sack of Ryan Fitzpatrick with the first string defense against the first string offense.
Whilst sitting on the depth chart as second string to 2015 first rounder Dante Fowler Jr., Head Coach Gus Bradley and Defensive Coordinator Todd Wash have been glowing in their off-season and early camp comments about the newcomer. So impressed have they been that he has been getting first team reps and coaches noting “I don’t think we are going to be able to keep him off the field”.
“It doesn’t matter who he goes up against, he’s going to go full-speed every snap. He expects to win and that’s the type of mental makeup you want in a player.” – Defensive Coordinator Todd Wash
This assertion has been noted and seen in action through camp, with some scary packages in place that see Ngakoue and Fowler at opposing bookends with a ‘meet you at the QB’ mentality.
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Todd Wash highlighted the type of player he is “It doesn’t matter who he goes up against, he’s going to go full-speed every snap. He expects to win and that’s the type of mental makeup you want in a player.”
Coming off a 2015 college season that saw him rack up a school record 13.5 sacks, beginning with some quality time with the opposition quarterback should come as no surprise for those in the know.
Pass rush has been a major area of need for the Jaguars and between Jackson in free agency, Fowler in the first round a year ago and now Ngakoue, the Jaguars have a glut of newcomers that will surely highlight a defense that is ready to emerge.
It was only just the beginning in tonight’s preseason opener, but a sign of things to come. For those calling the Jaguars games this year… it is pronounced Yah-NEEK In-GACK-way. Get practicing!