Would a deal sending Yannick Ngakoue to the Cleveland Browns make the most sense for the Jacksonville Jaguars?
Does Jacksonville Jaguars general manager David Caldwell have a potential trade partner for defensive end Yannick Nagkoue? Do the Cleveland Browns have any interest in acquiring Ngakoue in exchange for draft capital and other considerations?
Nick Dudukovich of Factory of Sadness here on FanSided.com pitched a potential trade offer that was originally floated by ESPN.com’s Field Yates (subscription only) that a scenario of sending the angry pass rusher to the Browns in exchange for tight end David Njoku and a 2021 second-round pick.
It might not be the package the Jacksonville Jaguars were hoping for in April when rumors swirled the team was ready to send Ngakoue to the Las Vegas Raiders on the first night of the NFL Draft, but it is a solid move for both teams on paper.
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"“Of course Ngakoue would be a great fit, as he’s averaged at least eight sacks in each of his first four seasons,” Dudukovich wrote. “Plus, he’s been durable, missing only one game in that span. The player the Browns currently start opposite Garrett, Olivier Vernon, has battled injuries the past couple of seasons.”"
Njoku would give the Jacksonville Jaguars another target on offense in Jay Gruden’s passing game and one more tight end added to the study room. Jacksonville signed Tyler Eifert in free agency from Cincinnati and drafted Tyler Davis out of Georgia Tech in April. Both James O’Shaughnessy and Josh Oliver will be back, rehabbing injuries that sent them to the injured reserve list last season.
If the trade were to happen, it would mean one of the weakest positions on the Jacksonville Jaguars roster could become one of its strongest.
Let’s just hope there are plenty of footballs to go around because of competition and the numbers game.
Njoku was a first-round draft pick by the Browns in 2017, 29th overall. For his career, he has caught 93 passes for 1,066 and nine touchdowns. He has dealt with injuries during his career. It may not be the gamble Caldwell and the Jaguars want to take given they signed Eifert, who has had his share of injuries as an NFL player.
There are reasons why the Browns can make this deal and still have plenty of talent at the tight end position this coming season.
"“Additionally, Yates reasoned the Browns would be dealing from a position of strength after signing free agent Austin Hooper, while then drafting much heralded FAU prospect Hunter Bryant in the fourth round,” Dudukovich wrote."
Losing Ngakoue means the Jaguars pass rush would take a huge hit. Over four seasons, he has 37.5 sacks and 14 forced fumbles. The Jaguars traded veteran Calais Campbell this offseason to the Baltimore Ravens but brought in K’Lavon Chaisson, the team’s second first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
The Jacksonville Jaguars coaching staff is counting on second-year star Josh Allen to continue his progression as a stud edge rusher. In his rookie season last year, the former Kentucky star registered 10.5 sacks, which set a new rookie record. The old record was held by Ngakoue.