Jags DT Malik Jackson had some great things to say about Dante Fowler and Yannick Ngakoue, even going so far as to compare them to Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware. "They are Von Miller and young DeMarcus Ware esque," stated Jackson at the podium after practice today. This is a bold statement, considering Von Miller is a top 3 defensive player in the NFL and most recent Super Bowl MVP. DeMarcus Ware's career speaks for itself, he is a two time NFL leader in sacks and is clearly heading to Canton after he hangs up his cleats.
There is nothing wrong with comparing young players to super stars, especially when they have similar body types and skill sets. I spoke with Jags defensive linemen Jared Odrick in the locker room after practice and he put it in a great perspective. "I don't think he is too far off with that statement. One of the big things that gets overlooked is body types. Just because I have DE next to my name and so does Von Miller, people think we're supposed to move the same and we obviously don't," stated Odrick. The Jags DE also went on to say "Guys like Yannick, guys like Dante have that perfect build to play on the edge and get low to the ground. Let's not limit what our guys can do just because they are young."
After hearing Odrick's words, he put it into a perspective I had not thought about before. Just because Dante Fowler Jr and Yannick Ngakoue are young and inexperienced, does not mean they cannot be compared to the greats when they share a similar body type and skill set. So often do we hear "this kid is next insert legend hear" and we brush it off as an ignorant statement. However, when you look at tall the intangibles it really isn't as crazy of a statement as it seemed at first.
No one is saying Dante Fowler Jr or Yannick Ngakoue are better than Von Miller or DeMarcus Ware, but to deny the similarities is wrong. They do share similar body types, they do share a similar skill set when rushing on the edge. Will these young players surpass the greatness of Von Miller or DeMarcus Ware? Who knows, but they definitely have a bright future ahead of them.