Yannick Ngakoue has not been a part of the Jacksonville Jaguars organization for six months now, but he’s still one of the best defensive players to ever play for the franchise.
It’s a shame the Jaguars weren’t able to keep together one of the best defenses in the league with Ngakoue, Jalen Ramsey, Telvin Smith, Calais Campbell, and Myles Jack.
If the Jaguars want to build a defense capable of competing for championships again, they are going to have to add serious defensive talent in the 2021 NFL Draft. One such prospect, edge rusher Azeez Ojulari, has been compared to Ngakoue in terms of playstyle and skill set.
Ojulari is commonly ranked as the third or fourth-best edge rusher in the draft and is likely overlooked because of his size. At 6-foot-3-inches and 240 pounds, Ojulari is a bit undersized, as is Yannick Ngakoue, for a prototypical NFL edge rusher. But in Ngakoue’s case, we can see how that didn’t affect him much.
Like Ngakoue, Ojulari’s exceptional blend of length, burst, and bend makes up for him being slightly undersized. He’s able to fire out of his stance, play with good hip and pad level, and uses his natural leverage against blockers.
Ojulari can often forget to use utilize his hands when engaging blockers so he has to be able to develop an arsenal of pass rush moves in order to counter some of the NFL’s best offensive lineman. He also seems to lack play strength so adding on some weight will allow Ojulari to rely more on strength to overpower linemen than just counting on pure speed and agility.
If the Jaguars decided to target Ojulari with the 25th overall pick, he would fit right into their new multiple look scheme as he can play in a four-man front or as a 3-4 outside linebacker.