Top 10 Sleeper Edge Defender Fits For The Bears
6.) Yannick Ngakoue-Maryland
Yannick Ngakoue is hell on wheels on tape with a relentless motor, and the production to boot in a major college program. The thing that puts him on this list is his size, and lack of élite athleticism and speed although he has plenty of athletic ability as his measureables show. Has a tweener look about him. Plays like an Edge rusher with the body of an ILB. His production is hard to ignore however. Just put up crazy numbers. He had 45 quarterback pressures and 13 sacks this season alone. His combined career stats are impressive. One thing for sure is he’ll make his mark as a pass rusher. Either as an Edge rusher in a 30 front or as a LB in a 40 or 30 front blitzing the quarterback.
Ngakoue possesses great hand use which is a huge trait for a pass rusher. He needs a few more moves and technique development however. This from profootballspot.com.
"The best trait Ngakoue possesses is his hand usage. His hands are strong and violent, and he relies on that to win match-ups. Ngakoue’s hand placement is very advanced as well, and that helps him create leverage and space. He has an innate ability to deliver a powerful punch to just the right spot on the opposing lineman. Due to his lack of speed and athleticism, he is often forced to utilize a swim move to create consistent lanes to the quarterback. You can see how he wins with it in the clip below. It’s an pretty good swim move, but I would to like to see him develop a counter to it. It’s tough to win with just one main move when you lack élite speed or power like Ngakoue does."
I think their assessment of his athleticism is incorrect but its not his dominant traits. It’s those hands of his. Ngakoue may be flying under the radar by the common fan, but make no mistake he’s very much on the radar of NFL scouts. He’ll be drafted, and will make whoever drafted him’s roster. With his relentless nature he should make instant contributions on special teams. he’ll also factor in on defenses likely as a situational pass rushing OLB/DE, and might even get some action at ILB. However make no mistake he’ll be on the edge to pressure on the quarterback, and disrupt the passing game. May not happen instantly, but eventually he will be on the field on 3rd and longs with his ears pinned back.
Next: Sleeper Edge Defender #5