Yannick Ngakoue is providing the pass rushing spark the Jacksonville Jaguars have needed for years and he’s joining some excellent company.
Over at Reddit, /u/AlexB9598W highlighted just how impressive Yannick Ngakoue has been compared to some peers in their rookie seasons. Per Pro Football Reference, just nine other players have had rookie seasons that include three sacks, three fumbles forced, and an interception.
That list includes two former Jaguars: Tony Brackens and Kevin Hardy and also big-name players like Leslie O’Neal and Charles Haley as well as more modern studs like Terrell Suggs and Tamba Hali.
All in all, it’s a great group to be a part of.
The fact that Ngakoue has joined this select group in just his first four games is impressive, even if this is a pretty narrow extrapolation of production. There’s no reason to doubt that Ngakoue will only continue that production, though. He can, and will, continue to get after the quarterback and make plays in his first season in the NFL.
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Only four other players in that select group did the same amount of sacks in the first four games of their careers. Suggs was the last in 2003 and Hardy, Haley, and O’Neal round out the group. Three of them finished their rookie seasons with 12 or more sacks with only Hardy as an outlier (5.5).
Before the 2016 season it wasn’t certain where the pass rush would come from on the Jags defensive line. Now it is pretty clear that rookie Yannick Ngakoue is capable of stepping up to the challenge and delivering for the team. He’s doing everything in his power to ensure that the quarterback is harassed whenever he is on the field.
Finally the Jags may have the front four to do what Gus Bradley needs: building a Seattle South defense. And it’s due in no small part to an over-performing rookie.