After only having one representative in the NFL Top 100 last year, Yannick Ngakoue is the first of many this year at number 88.
The NFL Network Top 100 list has been a fickle friend to the Jacksonville Jaguars. After a relatively disappointing 2015 season, the Jaguars had numerous representatives on the list thanks to an ascending young offense. Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns, and Blake Bortles all made the list, as did linebacker Telvin Smith.
The hype fell flat in 2016 as the Jaguars only finished with 3 wins and looked hapless for a majority of the season. Subsequently, the only Jaguars player on last year’s list was Calais Campbell, a newly signed free agent who hadn’t even played a snap for the club yet.
Campbell will undoubtedly make the list again this year, but we won’t hear his name for a while.
Instead, the first Jaguar to show up on the list is criminally underrated pass rusher Yannick Ngakoue.
Coming in at 88 seems like a solid accomplishment for a player coming off his second season, but it’s the guys ranked around him that raise some eyebrows – specifically Oakland Raiders linebacker Bruce Irvin.
Statistically, Ngakoue was superior by a significant margin, racking up more sacks (12 to 8) and more forced fumbles (6 to 4).
Ngakoue has yet to achieve national recognition despite his emergence as one of the best pure edge rushers in the entire league. He didn’t receive a well-deserved Pro Bowl nod and was nowhere to be seen in the All Pro voting. His appearance on this list should help, but it’s a travesty that he’s ranked below players that he’s clearly better than.