Although the Philadelphia Eagles don’t have a huge hole to fill in their pass rushing department, many believe Howie Roseman will still look to upgrade the position this offseason.
Yannick Ngakoue out of Jacksonville would’ve certainly been on the Eagles’ radar in free agency, but with recent reports stating that the Jaguars plan to place the franchise tag on him, any team that’s going to pursue the 24-year-old pass rusher is going to need to give up an asset in return.
It seems pretty clear that Ngakoue isn’t going to play for Jacksonville next season, even if they designate the tag to him. He immediately took to Twitter after the news broke to inform his followers that he had no interest in signing a long-term deal with the Jaguars.
The door’s open for a trade if the price is right. With 10 draft picks to play around with, the Eagles could conjure up a nice deal for the Jags if they wanted to. Passing up on an opportunity to acquire a premiere pass rusher at just 24-year-old would be foolish.
While the team could pursue someone like Jadeveon Clowney and not have to give up anything for him, Ngakoue brings a level of consistency that Clowney has never displayed throughout his career.
Ngakoue has recorded at least eight sacks in each of his four NFL seasons. Clowney, on the other hand, has really been up and down with his production throughout his career. For his first three years, he didn’t tally more than seven sacks in a season. Then, he had back-to-back nine sack seasons, before getting traded to Seattle last season and recording just three sacks.
Ngakoue is also only going to be 25 heading into next year with very minimal injury history. Whereas Clowney will be 27 and has a track record of missing time due to injury.
Ngakoue would fit right in Jim Schwartz’s scheme as well, as he’s played in a similar 4-3 defense down in Jacksonville. There really isn’t anything not to like about this guy.
Howie may have to give up multiple draft picks to pry him away from the Jags, but it won’t be as hefty of a deal as the Clowney trade to Seattle or the Khalil Mack trade to Chicago were. They may not even have to give up their first round pick for Ngakoue, depending on how his trade market plays out.
Personally, I don’t think there’s a better pass rusher available, through free agency or the draft, than Yannick Ngakoue. The Eagles entire defense is built on the pass rush and its ability to wreak havoc on opposing quarterbacks. A solid pass rush helps nearly every other facet on defense, especially in pass coverage where the Eagles struggled immensely in 2019.
If Howie can strike reasonable deal to bring Ngakoue to Philly I’d be all for it.