Should the Detroit Lions have gone after Yannick Ngakoue?

Yannick Ngakoue, Minnesota Vikings (Photo by Harry Aaron/Getty Images)
Yannick Ngakoue, Minnesota Vikings (Photo by Harry Aaron/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Lions will now have to face Yannick Ngakoue twice a season

The saga between defensive end Yannick Ngakoue and the Jacksonville Jaguars is over as he was traded to the Minnesota Vikings for a second-round pick in 2021 and a conditional fifth-round pick in 2022. The conditional fifth apparently can go up as high as a third-round pick.

Over the past few seasons, the Detroit Lions have struggled to find reliable and quality production from their edge rushers. As Ngakoue plays a position that the Lions were in need of, should the front office have pursued a trade for him?

With how much of a weak link the defensive line as a whole is, there’s no doubt that Ngakoue would immediately make the front seven much better. Not only would he make the defensive line better, he’d give a significant boost both to the defense as a whole and the team.

He’d give the Lions a daunting presence that opposing teams and offensive lines would start taking notice. Since he entered the league in 2016, he’s recorded 122 tackles (105 solo), 37.5 sacks, and 14 forced fumbles while adding nine pass deflections as well as 85 quarterback hits. This was while appearing in all but one possible game.

The Lions faithful would no doubt welcome a player like Ngakoue with open arms due to how much better of a team he would make them. While the type of talent Ngakoue possesses is the type of player the front office or in fact, any team is looking for, is the price the Vikings paid worth it for a team like the Lions?

With a 3-12-1 record from last season, the second-round pick ended up being a high draft pick where an impact player in running back D’Andre Swift was chosen. Ngakoue would most likely help improve that record but there’s no guarantee he would help it that much.

If the Lions were to meet the Jaguars asking price of a second-round pick and a conditional fifth-round pick, there would be a risk involved that the second-rounder could be another high selection. If the Lions traded for Ngakoue and were to have another poor season in 2020, it would really hurt the future of the team, especially since the defensive end is an impending free agent.

If the Lions knew that Ngakoue was to go to a division rival, the front office should have rolled the dice, took the risk, and trade for him to improve the pass rush. Although it’s unknown if general manager Bob Quinn was aware of the fact that the Vikings were in pursuit of Ngakoue.

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Now, Yannick Ngakoue is playing on a division rival in the NFC North, the Minnesota Vikings became a better team, and the Detroit Lions will be seeing him twice this year. Its not a good situation for the Lions.