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Big Cat Country Q&A: Is Yannick Ngakoue worth a first round draft pick?

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images

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Let’s answer some Jacksonville Jaguars questions in our final Q&A column before the 2020 NFL Draft!

Thomas from Gainesville, FL

Q: What’s the likelihood the Jaguars get a third (or even fourth) first round pick this year from a Yannick Ngakoue trade. What about moving up from their second round pick?

A: I think a trade for Yannick Ngakoue is more likely than not. With at least a first round pick as the asking price, I think the Jaguars get it. The question is, which team will want to trade? Will Jacksonville have to settle with a playoff team in the bottom third of the round? Or will they settle somewhere in the middle? If I had to guess right now, I think a trade gets worked out for a pick somewhere near the bottom of the middle... before their No. 20 overall pick but after No. 14 overall.

Hamish from Birmingham, UK

Q: Assuming Gardner Minshew has got at least one season further to prove he is a starter long term, what position would do him the most favors in making that a success?

A: Wide receiver.

Catfish from Jacksonville, FL

Q: Where would you set the odds of the Jaguars drafting three players in the first round of the draft?

A: Somewhere around 60/40 in terms of them getting a third first round pick.

Jesse from St. Augustine, FL

Q: Is Yannick Ngakoue worth a first round draft pick?

A: Short answer, yes. Long answer... yesssssssssssss. Since coming into the league he has 122 tackles, 37.5 sacks, and 14 forced fumbles. ESPN’s Michael DiRocco compared that with the highest-paid defensive ends in terms of yearly salary:

He’s absolutely worth a first round pick and the Jaguars would be foolish not to hold out for that when trying to trade him.

James from Jacksonville, FL

Q: Could you see the Jaguars sending a package deal with Yannick Ngakoue to the Detroit Lions if Chase Young is still on the board on draft night?

A: I don’t think Chase Young gets past Washington at No. 2 overall.

Barbour from Pasco, FL

Q: Is there a chance we could finally move on from the oft injured Marqise Lee?

A: Not in 2020.

Jacari from Longview, TX

Q: Why is ESPN crapping all over our quarterback situation?

A: Because we have Gardner Minshew and Josh Dobbs. Listen, I like Minshew. I really do. I think he’s the best quarterback we’ve had in over a decade. But he had the most chaotic rookie season I’ve ever seen of a quarterback. Nick Foles was the unquestioned starter. He was a sixth round pick who many (ourselves included!) were saying might not make the active roster due to a poor start to preseason. If Minshew can take a step and improve in two things — pocket passing and not fumbling the ball when the pocket collapses — I think everyone will get a lot more excited, ESPN included.

Lee from São Paulo, Brazil

Q: Any new info at all on who or what position the Jaguars could be leaning towards at No. 9 overall?

A: After yesterday’s press conference, I think it’s Derrick Brown at No. 9 overall and then the best available wide receiver at No. 20 overall.

Mark from Casper, TX

Q: Do you believe it is a good idea to explore the O.J. Howard trade for a mid-round pick?

A: Yup, I’d take a look at him. I wouldn’t give up anything more than a Day 3 pick (or two) for him though. He has a history of injuries and I just haven’t seen enough to give up a third round pick for him.

Chevin from Jacksonville, FL

Q: You’re the Jaguars general manager. You’re on the clock. Joe Burrow, Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert, Chase Young, Jeff Okudah, Isaiah Simmons, Derrick Brown, and Andrew Thomas are gone and you cannot find a suitable trade. Who do you select?

A: Tristan Wirfs without a second thought.

Juan from Jacksonville Beach, FL

Q: If the NFL plays without fans, should the league still make the Jaguars play two games in London?

A: If games are played without fans (which they likely will be) then I don’t think the league would even allow the Jaguars to travel to London, much less make them play there. It’s gonna be a wild season, y’all.