clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Yannick Ngakoue would be perfect complement to Aaron Donald

Donald needs help after release of Leonard Floyd

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

With the Los Angeles Rams in shambles as the team works through a tough remodeling phase, the team’s stars are tasked with carrying the franchise into a new era. One of those superstars includes Aaron Donald who has lost teammates like Jalen Ramsey, Bobby Wagner and Leonard Floyd since the start of the new league year.

What Donald needs is someone to help get him through this transition. Enter pass rusher Yannick Ngakoue who hasn’t seen much of a market so far in free agency. Ngakoue is looking for his fifth team in six years and the Rams could desperately use him in getting to the quarterback.

Alex Ballentine noted as much in his Bleacher Report article looking at best fits for the most intriguing remaining free agents.

“Ngakoue’s constant movement is likely in part because he’s a one-trick pony. That one trick (getting after the quarterback) is pretty vital, though. Ngakoue does not work well as a run defender. Instead, he uses his quickness and athleticism as a pass-rushing specialist.

With the Rams losing Leonard Floyd, they obviously have a need for pass-rushing. The fact that Ngakoue hasn’t been signed yet—along with the number of pass rushers still on the board—might mean that he has to take a deal cheap enough for the Rams to afford.”

LA needs a replacement for the loss of production that Floyd provided during his time with the Rams. Despite the constant movement, Ngakoue is a pure pass rusher which is a rarity in today’s NFL. While being a “one-trick pony” has been a significant limitation for Yannick, there’s no denying that he’s pretty darn consistent in that department.

Ngakoue is known to be a liability in run defense which again is why he hasn’t found a long-term home since leaving Jacksonville following the 2019 season. Still, he has played in 102 of a possible 110 games in his seven year career. Yannick has never finished below eight sacks in any of those campaigns and even finished with a career-high 12 in ‘17 en route to the Jaguars run to the AFC Championship.

Healthy and productive players are sorely needed in Los Angeles after all the injuries that hampered the 5-12 disaster show. Should LA sign him, they’ll have to live with Ngakoue’s limitations aside from his pass rushing duties. That aspect of his game has always followed him and no one should expect it to change anytime soon.

At most, Yannick Ngakoue would receive a one-year deal from the Rams, assuming the team is indeed interested. Given that he can be signed on the cheap, he’d be an ideal Robin to Donald’s Batman as the team reloads the roster. Having those two as mentors to incoming young pass rushers is a match made in heaven.