Trading for EDGE Yannick Ngakoue Would Drastically Improve Lions' Defense
The Jaguars placed the franchise tag on defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, and he has not been shy about verbalizing his frustration with the organization.
Yet to sign his tender, Ngakoue has also made it well known through social media that he wants out of Jacksonville.
Considering his discontent, many around the league figured he would end up being a tag-and-trade candidate.
Well, that actually seems to be the case.
Per NFL Network's Mike Garafolo, the Jaguars have heard from multiple teams interested in acquiring Ngakoue.
As noted, trading for Ngakoue won't come cheaply.
Not only would the Lions have to hand over a high draft pick for the 25-year-old, but he would also want a big-money extension.
After racking up 37.5 sacks, 85 quarterback hits, 42 tackles for loss and 14 forced fumbles in his first four seasons in the NFL, it's time he gets paid.
The Lions are already paying Trey Flowers a premium rate, and it might be tough to have two large contracts on the books.
Flowers isn't an elite pass-rushing threat, and needs help along the defensive line.
Ngakoue, only 6-foot-2 and 246-pounds, would likely be a JACK backer in Detroit head coach Matt Patricia's scheme.
After the release of Devon Kennard, the Lions don't have a pass-rushing linebacker, and Ngakoue would fill that role nicely.
Detroit may be content in having three versatile linebackers -- like Jamie Collins, Jahlani Tavai and Christian Jones -- rotating between off-ball linebacker and the EDGE.
Much like Kennard in Detroit, Ngakoue rarely drops into coverage.
If the Lions do want more versatility on the EDGE, Ngakoue isn't that guy.
Another aspect of the game that Patricia highly values is run defense.
If Ngakoue has a weakness, it's his rush defense.
He has missed 17 tackles in the past two seasons, while totaling 69 tackles.
There is no doubt that Ngakoue would give a nice boost to one of the worst pass-rushing teams in the league from a season ago.
The Lions need to be serious about upgrading the position in a "win-now" season, and trading for Ngakoue would be a huge step in the right direction.