The Jacksonville Jaguars have traded talented edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue to the Minnesota Vikings in exchange for a 2021 second-round pick and a conditional 2022 fifth-round pick (which could rise to a third-round pick), per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Breaking down the trade
Minnesota Vikings receive:
- 25-year-old pass-rusher Yannick Ngakoue.
Jacksonville Jaguars receive:
- 2021 second-round pick.
- 2022 conditional fifth-round pick.
- The conditional pick relies on Ngakoue becoming a first-ballot Pro Bowler with the Vikings.
- The 2022 conditional fifth-round pick can rise to a third-round pick if Ngakoue is named to a Pro Bowl with the Vikings and Minnesota wins a Super Bowl.
With the 2021 draft compromised due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the value of proven players, like Ngakoue, has risen substantially. We saw this a couple of weeks ago when the Seahawks gave away a bounty of picks in return for Jamal Adams. While Jacksonville did not receive the same haul for their defensive star, the compensation acquired is still of great value for the Jags.
A second-round pick, on top of the conditional picks, is an excellent haul for Jacksonville. Especially since Ngakoue was digging his heels in the dirt over contract negotiations, much to the annoyance of the Jacksonville front office.
From the Vikings point of view, it’s never easy to part with a second-round pick. However, after letting Everson Griffen go this past off-season, the Vikings had a pressing need to fill the void left by the defensive end. Ngakoue is younger and faster than Griffen and certain to kick on in Minnesota opposite Danielle Hunter.
How Ngakoue fits in Minnesota
Minnesota already has one uber-athletic and gifted edge rusher in Danielle Hunter. Now, with the addition of Ngakoue, they have two. Ngakoue, 25, is the same age as Hunter and both are lightning-fast freaks of nature who specialise in putting the quarterback in the dirt. However, statistically, Ngakoue performed worse than Everson Griffen (the player he’ll be replacing) in 2019.
Per Sports Info Solutions, Ngakoue ranked below Griffen in hurries (31 to Griffen’s 40), QB hits (26 to Griffen’s 30), QB knockdowns (9 to Griffen’s 15) and pressures (43 to Griffen’s 59). However, it is crucial to acknowledge that Griffen had 71 more pass rush attempts than Ngakoue in 2019. Also, keep in mind that Ngakoue is seven years younger than Griffen. A key factor that the Vikings took heavily into consideration when vying for the former Jag over Griffen.
When it comes to money, Minnesota is expected to pay Ngakoue just under the franchise tag. Ngakoue was after the tag in Jacksonville, leading to all the offseason palaver between Ngakoue and the Jags front office. However, the pass-rusher is happy to take less in Minnesota in order to get a fresh start. Ngakoue is expected to sign a one year tender with the Vikings in order to complete the trade.
Another star lost for Jacksonville
On the other side of this coin, it is very much a case of covertly rebuilding in 2020 for the Jags. After trading Jalen Ramsey under a similar set of circumstances, Jacksonville is now set on rebuilding its core with young, fresh talent from the draft. After this Ngakoue deal, the Jags now own the Rams 2021 first-round and fourth-round picks and the Vikings’ 2021 second-round pick (as well the conditional triggers in the Ngakoue deal).
Rookie starlet Josh Allen is sure to see his fair share of double teams in 2020 after registering 10.5 sacks in 2019, per Pro Football Reference. And the Jags’ 2020 defensive draft picks C.J. Henderson and K’Lavon Chaisson will have to step up big if the Jags are to prosper on the defensive side of the ball in 2020.
Fair deal For both parties
On the whole, after a messy summer, the Yannick Ngakoue affair ended as cleanly as possible.
Ngakoue has a fresh new start in a talented defence under the tutelage of Mike Zimmer. And on the other side, Jacksonville continues to increase its draft war chest – as well as not dealing with Ngakoue’s antics any longer.