The NY Jets should absolutely trade for star pass-rusher Yannick Ngakoue.
Prior to labeling the Jets as a team to watch, Lombardi reported that the Jaguars were “extremely close” to trading Ngakoue and that the team had a “firm offer in place”, which is thought to be a second-round pick.
Although he was franchised tagged by the Jaguars this offseason, Ngakoue has repeatedly made it clear that he has no intention of playing another snap in Jacksonville.
And if the asking price is truly a second-round pick, general manager Joe Douglas and the Jets should seriously consider pulling the trigger.
Edge rusher has been an incredibly weak position for the green and white since John Abraham was traded to the Atlanta Falcons nearly a decade and a half ago.
In the years since, the Jets have consistently struggled to get to the quarterback, trying to come up with unique ways to do so without an elite presence on the edge.
In the 25-year-old Ngakoue, however, the Jets would be getting that high-level pass-rusher that the team has been in desperate need of for years.
A third-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft out of the University of Maryland, Ngakoue has established himself as an elite-level difference-maker by totaling 37.5 sacks throughout his four-year career thus far.
During his time in Jacksonville, Ngakoue had eight or more sacks in each of his four seasons and had 12 sacks in 2017 when he earned his first Pro Bowl selection. In 2019, he totaled 39 tackles, eight sacks, six pass deflections, four forced fumbles, and one interception.
The NY Jets’ defense would improve in a huge way if Yannick Ngakoue was added.
Simply put, Ngakoue would immediately take the Jets defense to another level while also filling a glaring hole. As of now, the team’s top pass rushers are Jordan Jenkins and Tarell Basham — neither of whom play at the level of Ngakoue.
It is important to note, however, that the Jets are currently in a rebuild and that the team must value draft picks. In addition, Ngakoue will be looking for a new contract following this season and it’s likely to be a lucrative one.
Ultimately though, the Jets have the means to make it happen, especially if the asking price is a second-round pick.
After trading safety Jamal Adams to the Seattle Seahawks late last month, the Jets now have four first-round picks over the next two drafts, a hefty number needed to improve the team’s roster.
In addition, the Jets no longer have to worry about handing Adams a massive contract in the near future, perhaps freeing up more room to pay Ngakoue if he performs at the level he’s expected to.
It’s not every day that a player like Ngakoue becomes available.
And for the Jets, a team that could undoubtedly use him, it may very well be worth it to make a move that would bring the game-changing pass-rusher to New York.