JACKSONVILLE – This was the dream all along.
And while Yannick Ngakoue said he wasn't surprised to make it to the NFL, that didn't mean Tuesday morning wasn't special.
"It feels great," Ngakoue said. "It's a dream come true. I'm just ready to make plays for my team. … It's a great time for me and my family."
Ngakoue (6-feet-2, 252 pounds), a defensive end selected by the Jaguars in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft, on Tuesday became the seventh and last rookie to sign with the team. Duration and terms of the deal were not disclosed.
"It's crazy," Ngakoue said. "I was always underrated my whole life, so this is just a blessing to be able to sign that piece of paper and be an official Jaguar, to be part of this great organization and to be part of this brotherhood of the NFL. It's something I can tell my kids and grandkids years from now and they can use it for motivation as well."
Ngakoue, who played collegiately at Maryland, registered 88 tackles and 33 tackles for loss in three seasons there, a total that included 21.5 sacks. He set Maryland's single-season sacks record with 13.5 in 2015.
He had six sacks as a sophomore and two as a freshman and is projected to play the Leo pass-rushing position for the Jaguars.
"This is the starting point," Ngakoue said of signing his rookie deal. "It's an opportunity to show this organization what I have. I'm just happy to go out there and play in the NFL."
With the 69th pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the Jaguars selected Maryland defensive lineman Yannick Ngakoue.
The Jaguars previously signed the rest of their rookie class: cornerback Jalen Ramsey (first round), linebacker Myles Jack (second round), defensive tackle Sheldon Day (fourth round), defensive end/linebacker Tyrone Holmes (sixth round), quarterback Brandon Allen (sixth round) and defensive end Jonathan Woodard (seventh round).
"It's done with now," Ngakoue said. "Training camp is first, and now we get ready for the season. That's it – I just have to contribute."
The Jaguars will open training camp in late July.