University of Maryland defensive teammates Quinton Jefferson and Yannick Ngakoue have felt plenty comfortable at this week’s NFL scouting combine despite the long and hectic days, and the seemingly never-ending questions from team officials and reporters.
Both credited former Terrapins head coach Randy Edsall for preparing them for this moment.
“Coach Edsall, he runs his team almost like an NFL team,” said Jefferson, a defensive tackle who had 6½ sacks and 39 tackles last season for Maryland. “He’s all about structure and doing things a certain type of way. I feel like it helped me a lot and made me mature, made me accountable. I feel like it made me a man.”
Edsall was fired in October after less than five seasons with the Terps. However, Ngakoue said that the coach, who was hired by the Detroit Lions as the director of football research-special prospects earlier this month, left an impact.
“I feel like the overall program with Coach Edsall prepared me tremendously,” said Ngakoue, a defensive end who had a school-record 13½ sacks and 15 tackles for loss in 2015. “Everything that he said about the NFL is true. It’s very disciplined, structured, and I feel like we had that back at school. I feel very prepared being at the combine.
Ngakoue, a Bowie native, is viewed as a mid-round draft pick, while Jefferson is considered a potential late-round selection.
“I feel like I can make an impact quickly, just because I came from a program that taught us a lot of discipline,” Ngakoue said. “It taught us about hard work and work ethic. I feel like I can come in and contribute Day One. Whoever drafts me, I’m just willing to do whatever they want me to do.”