Packers ready to face Yannick Ngakoue, the Vikings’ new ‘elite’ edge rusher

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Both Green Bay Packers coach Matt LaFleur and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett know the talented new defensive end added by the Minnesota Vikings this week.” data-reactid=”13″>Both Green Bay Packers coach Matt LaFleur and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett know the talented new defensive end added by the Minnesota Vikings this week.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="LaFleur faced Yannick Ngakoue, who was traded from the Jaguars to the Vikings on Sunday, twice while serving as the Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator in 2018. Hackett, the former Jaguars offensive coordinator, was with Ngakoue in Jacksonville for three years (2016-18).” data-reactid=”14″>LaFleur faced Yannick Ngakoue, who was traded from the Jaguars to the Vikings on Sunday, twice while serving as the Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator in 2018. Hackett, the former Jaguars offensive coordinator, was with Ngakoue in Jacksonville for three years (2016-18).

The Packers will face Ngakoue and the Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium in Week 1.

LaFleur called Ngakoue an “elite” pass-rusher.

“I’m familiar with Yannick in terms of when I was in Tennessee. He is an elite pass-rusher, there’s no doubt about it. Nathaniel Hackett was on that staff in Jacksonville, so he knows all about him as well. It just gives them another edge rusher, to go with him and (Danielle) Hunter,” LaFleur said Monday.

A third-round pick in 2016 and a Pro Bowler in 2017, Ngakoue delivered 37.5 sacks, 85 quarterback hits, 42 tackles for losses and 14 forced fumbles over four seasons with the Jaguars.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Based on usage last season, Ngakoue will face David Bakhtiari, the Packers’ All-Pro left tackle, on most snaps in Week 1, leaving Hunter to battle with whoever starts at right tackle, likely either Billy Turner or Rick Wagner.” data-reactid=”23″>Based on usage last season, Ngakoue will face David Bakhtiari, the Packers’ All-Pro left tackle, on most snaps in Week 1, leaving Hunter to battle with whoever starts at right tackle, likely either Billy Turner or Rick Wagner.

LaFleur said preparing for Ngakoue will require a “combination” of studying the player and understanding the Vikings scheme. Coach Mike Zimmer won’t have much time to get Ngakoue up to speed with the defense, but rushing the quarterback can be a simple task.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Together, Ngakoue and Hunter could provide the Vikings with one of the NFL’s best pass-rushing duos. Ngakoue is considered the replacement for veteran defensive end Everson Griffen, who left Minnesota to sign with the Dallas Cowboys.” data-reactid=”25″>Together, Ngakoue and Hunter could provide the Vikings with one of the NFL’s best pass-rushing duos. Ngakoue is considered the replacement for veteran defensive end Everson Griffen, who left Minnesota to sign with the Dallas Cowboys.

The Packers are scheduled to play Ngakoue and the Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium – which won’t have fans in attendance – on Sunday, Sept. 13.

Ngakoue has faced the Packers once before, in the season opener in 2016. Then a rookie playing his first professional game, Ngakoue tallied a quarterback hit and two tackles over 51 snaps during the Packers’ 27-23 win in Jacksonville.

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