Maryland junior defensive end Yannick Ngakoue announced Monday that he will skip his senior season and enter the NFL draft.
Ngakoue finished second nationally with 13.5 sacks, which also set the school’s single-season record earlier this month. While the former Friendship Collegiate star faced questions about his transition into Maryland’s new 4-3 defensive scheme this past offseason, his edge pass-rushing abilities only further blossomed during Maryland’s 3-9 campaign. He also had showed marked improvement against the run in 2015, finishing with 38 tackles (15 for loss).
He finished his career at Maryland fourth in career sacks (21.5), sixth in career tackles-for-loss yards (176) and eighth in career tackles-for-loss (33). According to FOX Sports’ NFL draft site, Ngakoue is rated as the eighth-best defensive end in the 2016 class and projects between the first and third rounds.
“We are thrilled for Yannick and his family that he has made this decision to pursue his lifelong dream of playing in the NFL,” Maryland interim head coach Mike Locksley said in a statement. “After speaking with Yannick and his family, he feels that he is prepared to take this step in his football career and we support his decision. We wish him well and look forward to seeing him compete at the highest level.”