Yannick Ngakoue: Defensive Rookie Of The Year?

Chances are, the name Yannick Ngakoue is probably unfamiliar to you. A third-round pick from Maryland playing for the 1-3 Jaguars, Ngakoue hasn’t had many opportunities to put his name into national relevance just yet. But if the rookie pass rusher continues to play at the level he has through the first four weeks of his NFL career, that will all change soon.

When Jacksonville took Ngakoue with the 69th pick in the draft, his expected role was to just be a rotational pass rusher on a defensive line that need much improvement. With his outstanding performances however, Ngakoue has quickly become a feature guy at the LEO position for the team.

Through a combination of speed and strength, Yannick has accumulated three sacks, three forced fumbles, and an interception in only four games. He has already out shined his expectations, and has become a very disruptive edge rusher for the Jaguars.

His sheer speed around the edge really stands out, as evident by his sack in the game this past Sunday against the Colts, shown here: (Credit: @FBLRave on Twitter)

The Jaguars took Jalen Ramsey fifth overall in this year’s draft, so it’s a surprise to no one that the Jaguars have a player in contention for Rookie of the Year early on. The surprise is that, at this point, it’s not Ramsey(who, to his credit, has played solid in his own right), but rather the third-round selection Ngakoue who is making noise.

Yannick Ngakoue has not only put himself firmly in the discussion for DROY, he has become Jacksonville’s most effective pass rusher. Surprising from the 69th overall selection from Maryland, but Yannick’s arrow is pointing way up, and it’s time to take notice of the young playmaker.