Yannick Ngakoue
refer to caption
Ngakoue with the Las Vegas Raiders in 2021
No. 91 – Indianapolis Colts
Position:Defensive end
Personal information
Born: (1995-03-31) March 31, 1995 (age 27)
Washington, D.C.
Height:6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:246 lb (112 kg)
Career information
High school:Friendship Collegiate Academy (Washington, D.C.)
College:Maryland
NFL Draft:2016 / Round: 3 / Pick: 69
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2021
Total tackles:173
Sacks:55.5
Forced fumbles:20
Fumble recoveries:3
Interceptions:2
Pass deflections:13
Defensive touchdowns:2
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR

Yannick Nicolas Ngakoue (/jɑːˈnk ɪnˈɡɑːkw/ yah-NEEK in-GAH-kway;[1] born March 31, 1995) is an American football defensive end for the Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Maryland and was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft. He has also played one season each for the Minnesota Vikings, Baltimore Ravens, and Las Vegas Raiders.

Early years

Ngakoue attended Friendship Collegiate Academy Public Charter School in Washington, D.C., where he was teammates with Eddie Goldman. As a senior, he was the Gatorade Football Player of the Year for Washington D.C. after recording 17 sacks.[2] Ngakoue was rated by Rivals.com as a four-star recruit and was ranked as the fourth best outside linebacker in his class.[3] He committed to the University of Maryland, College Park to play college football.[4]

College career

As a true freshman at Maryland in 2013, Ngakoue played in all 13 games and had nine tackles, two sacks and an interception. As a sophomore in 2014, he started all 12 games and recorded 37 tackles and six sacks.[5][6] As a junior in 2015, Ngakoue set a school record with 13.5 sacks.[7] After the season, he announced that he would forgo his senior season and enter the 2016 NFL Draft.[8]

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump Bench press
6 ft 2 in
(1.88 m)
252 lb
(114 kg)
32+12 in
(0.83 m)
9+12 in
(0.24 m)
4.75 s 1.64 s 2.77 s 4.50 s 7.35 s 34+12 in
(0.88 m)
9 ft 10 in
(3.00 m)
26 reps
All values from NFL Combine[9]

Jacksonville Jaguars

2016 season

The Jacksonville Jaguars selected Ngakoue in the third round (69th overall) in the 2016 NFL Draft. He was the seventh defensive end selected.[10] On June 22, 2016, the Jaguars signed Ngakoue to a four-year, $3.48 million contract that includes a signing bonus of $856,176.[11] Throughout training camp, he competed for the starting defensive end position against Dante Fowler, Chris Smith, and Jared Odrick. Head coach Gus Bradley named him the backup defensive end behind starters Fowler and Odrick to begin his rookie season.[12]

Ngakoue made his NFL debut in the Jaguars' season-opener against the Green Bay Packers and made two combined tackles during their 27–23 loss. The following week, he earned his first NFL start, as the Jaguars opted to start him at right defensive end over Dante Fowler, and recorded three combined tackles, forced the first fumble of his career, and made his first NFL sack on Philip Rivers in the Jaguars' 38–14 loss at the San Diego Chargers. His first NFL forced fumble came in the second quarter, as he had a strip sack on Rivers. The ball was recovered by Jaguars' safety Johnathan Cyprien.[13][14] On October 2, Ngakoue made a season-high four solo tackles and recorded his first NFL interception on quarterback Andrew Luck after the pass was deflected by defensive end Dante Fowler during a 30–27 victory over the Indianapolis Colts. In the season finale on January 1, 2017, he collected two solo tackles and made his eighth career sack on Luck in a 24–20 loss to the Colts.

Ngakoue finished his rookie year with 22 combined tackles (19 solo), eight sacks, two pass deflections, an interception, and a forced fumble in 16 games and 15 starts.[15] His eight sacks broke a Jaguars rookie record, previously held by Tony Brackens, but Ngakoue's record was broken by Josh Allen three years later in 2019.[16] Following his rookie season, Ngakoue was named to the PFWA All-Rookie Team.[17] The Jaguars finished the 2016 season 3-13 and head coach Gus Bradley was fired after Week 15 and offensive line coach Doug Marrone served as the interim head coach for Weeks 16–17.

2017 season

Ngakoue entered training camp competing to maintain his starting defensive end role against newly acquired free agent Calais Campbell and Dante Fowler. Marrone opted to maintain the Gus Bradley's staff and keep defensive coordinator Todd Wash and his base 4–3 defense. Ngakoue was named the starting left defensive end, opposite Calais Campbell, to start the 2017 season.[18]

Ngakoue started in the season-opener against the Houston Texans and recorded four combined tackles, two sacks, two forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery during a 29–7 road victory. His first forced fumble came in the second quarter and was on quarterback Tom Savage and was recovered by teammate Abry Jones, which set the Jaguars up for a touchdown scoring drive. Toward the end of the second quarter, he had another strip-sack on Savage that was recovered and returned by Dante Fowler Jr. for a 53-yard touchdown. Toward the end of the third quarter, he recovered a fumble by quarterback Deshaun Watson that was caused by Fowler.[19] During Week 7, Ngakoue made four combined tackles and a season-high 2.5 sacks during the Jaguars' 27–0 road routing of the Indianapolis Colts. During a Week 11 matchup at the Cleveland Browns, he made three combined tackles and 2.5 sacks in a 23–7 victory. During Week 16 against San Francisco 49ers, Ngakoue collected two solo tackles and made his 12th sack of the season on quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in the 44–33 road loss. In the next game against the Tennessee Titans, he scored his first NFL touchdown on a 67-yard fumble recovery as the Jaguars lost on the road by a score of 15–10.

Ngakoue finished the season with 30 combined tackles (24 solo) and 12 sacks in 16 games and starts as the Jaguars finished atop the AFC South with a 10–6 record. The Jaguars' defensive line became dominant throughout the season with the key additions of Calais Campbell (during free agency) and Marcell Dareus (a midseason trade acquisition). They adopted the nickname "Sacksonville" throughout the season.[20] His 12 sacks tied for eighth in the league and was second on the team behind Campbell's 14.5 sacks.[21] He also had a league-leading six forced fumbles.

In the playoffs, Ngakoue recorded four tackles, a pass deflection, and a sack before the Jaguars lost to the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game by a score of 24–20. On January 22, 2018, he was named to his first Pro Bowl as an injury replacement for teammate Campbell.[22] Ngakoue was ranked 88th by his peers on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2018.[23]

2018 season

In week 4 against the New York Jets, Ngakoue recorded his first sack of the season on rookie quarterback Sam Darnold during the 31–12 win.[24] In week 6 against the Dallas Cowboys, Ngakoue sacked Dak Prescott twice during the 40–7 loss.[25] In week 8 against the Philadelphia Eagles in London, Ngakoue sacked Carson Wentz once during the 24–18 loss.[26] In week 17 against the Houston Texans, Ngakoue recorded a season high 5 tackles and sacked Deshaun Watson 1.5 times during the 20–3 loss.[27]

Ngakoue finished the season with 9.5 sacks, 28 total tackles, 33 quarterback hits, and a pass defended.[28] The Jaguars did not retain their overall success from the previous season, this time finishing with a 5–11 record.[29]

2019 season

In week 5 against the Carolina Panthers, Ngakoue recorded his first two sacks of the season on Kyle Allen during the 34–27 loss.[30] In week 7 against the Cincinnati Bengals, Ngakoue intercepted a pass thrown by Andy Dalton and returned it 23 yards for a touchdown during the 27–17 win. This was Ngakoue's first career interception and touchdown in the NFL.[31] In the following week's game against the New York Jets, Ngakoue sacked Sam Darnold twice during the 29–15 win.[32] In week 11 against the Tennessee Titans, Ngakoue recorded a strip sack on Ryan Tannehill and recovered the football during the 42–20 loss.[33] In week 15 against the Oakland Raiders, Ngakoue sacked Derek Carr twice during the 20–16 win.[34]

Ngakoue finished the season with 8 sacks, 41 total tackles, 15 quarterback hits, four forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, six passes defensed, and an interception returned for a touchdown.[35] The Jaguars slightly improved from the previous season, this time finishing with a 6–10 record.[36]

2020 season

On March 2, 2020, Ngakoue went on Twitter to state that he wished to be traded and would not play for the Jaguars in the future.[37]

Despite Ngakoue's request, the Jaguars placed the franchise tag on Ngakoue on March 13, 2020.[38] On April 20, 2020, Ngakoue got in a lengthy Twitter argument with Tony Khan, the team owner's son, because the Jaguars wouldn't trade him. During their argument, Ngakoue most notably told Khan “Just trade me.” [39]

Minnesota Vikings

On August 31, 2020, Ngakoue was traded to the Minnesota Vikings for a 2021 second-round pick and a conditional fifth-round pick.[40]

In Week 2 against the Indianapolis Colts, Ngakoue recorded his first sack as a Viking on Philip Rivers during the 28–11 loss.[41] In Week 4 against the Houston Texans, Ngakoue sacked Deshaun Watson twice during the 31–23 win.[42]

Baltimore Ravens

On October 22, 2020, Ngakoue was traded to the Baltimore Ravens for a 2021 third-round pick and a 2022 conditional fifth-round pick.[43] The move reunited Ngakoue with former Jaguars teammate Calais Campbell. In Week 11 against the Tennessee Titans, Ngakoue recorded his first sack as a Raven on Ryan Tannehill during the 30–24 overtime loss.[44]

In Week 15 against his former team, the Jacksonville Jaguars, Ngakoue recorded two sacks on former teammate Gardner Minshew, including a strip sack that was recovered by the Ravens, during the 40–14 win.[45]

Las Vegas Raiders

On March 19, 2021, Ngakoue signed a two-year, $26 million contract with the Las Vegas Raiders.[46][47]

In Week 7, Ngakoue had four tackles, two sacks, and two passes defensed in a 33–22 win over the Philadelphia Eagles, earning AFC Defensive Player of the Week.[48]

Ngakoue would lead the Raiders in sacks in 2021, and would have his first double-digit sack season since 2017.

Indianapolis Colts

On March 16, 2022, Ngakoue was traded to the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for cornerback Rock Ya-Sin after the Raiders signed Chandler Jones.[49]

NFL career statistics

Legend
Led the league
Bold Career high

Regular season

Year Team Games Tackles Interceptions Fumbles
GP GS Comb Solo Ast Sack PD Int Yds Avg Lng TD FF FR Yds TD
2016 JAX 16 15 23 20 3 8.0 2 1 9 9.0 9 0 4 0 0 0
2017 JAX 16 16 30 24 6 12.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 2 67 1
2018 JAX 16 16 28 25 3 9.5 1 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2019 JAX 15 15 41 36 5 8.0 6 1 23 23.0 23T 1 4 1 –2 0
2020 MIN 6 5 12 12 0 5.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0
BAL 9 3 11 11 0 3.0 1 0 0 0.0 0 0 2 0 0 0
2021 LV 17 17 28 17 11 10.0 3 0 0 0.0 0 0 2 0 0 0
Career 95 87 173 145 28 55.5 13 2 32 16.0 23T 1 20 3 65 1

Postseason

Year Team Games Tackles Interceptions Fumbles
GP GS Comb Solo Ast Sack PD Int Yds Avg Lng TD FF FR Yds TD
2017 JAX 3 3 4 3 1 1.0 1 0 0 0.0 0 0 1 0
2020 BAL 2 1 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0
2021 LV 1 1 1 0 1 0.0 0 0 0
Total 6 5 5 3 12 1.0 1 0 0 0.0 0 0 1 0 0 0

References

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