NFL Hot Press: Yannick Ngakoue Grading Out on Day Two

Yannick Ngakoue Grading Out on Day Two

Updated Nov. 27, 2015
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.

In the passing driven NFL teams are always on the look out for defenders that can get after the quarterback. Even with that focus, Maryland outside linebacker Yannick Ngakoue has gone under the radar when it comes to national media attention. However, NFL teams have taken a liking to Ngakoue and sources from multiple teams are grading Ngakoue as second-day pick as his junior year is about to end this Saturday at Rutgers.

Maryland is not bowl eligible so after the Saturday the next time that Ngakoue suits up it will either be in the NFL or for Maryland as a senior. Ngakoue has totaled 37 tackles, 15 for a loss, 13.5 sacks, and one pass break up. He has the second highest sack total in the nation behind only Penn State’s Carl Nassib. The 6-foot-2, 255-pound Ngakoue is quick and strong off the edge and sources say that he has some length to him. One source said that his speed to power skills are reminiscent of Chiefs edge rusher Justin Houston when he was at Georgia.

Ngakoue caught my eye in 2014 when he was owning Iowa left tackle Brandon Scherff (the fifth-overall pick to the Redskins in the 2015 NFL Draft). Ngakoue was able to beat Scherff with speed and showed the ability to convert speed to power, putting Scherff on roller skates. In other games Ngakoue played well against Michigan State left tackle Jack Conklin and Ohio State left tackle Taylor Decker. He held his own against Stanford’s Andrus Peat to end his junior year. In 2014 Ngakoue totaled 37 tackles with 13.5 for a loss, six sacks, and two passes broken up. This year he beat Conklin for a sack and once again has played well against good competition.

One team said they had a third-round grade on Ngakoue. Another said they had him in the second. Evaluators feel that there is the potential for Ngakoue to rise higher if he tests well at the NFL Scouting Combine. Sources say Ngakoue has the natural speed and athleticism to impress. After two good years at Maryland, Ngakoue is in a position of strength if he decides to come out.

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