The most important move the Raiders made this offseason was signing defensive end Yannick Ngakoue. The team desperately needed another proven pass rusher and putting Ngakoue with his former head coach in Gus Bradley just made too much sense.
While he’s bounced around the NFL some since being drafted in 2016, Ngakoue knows how to get to the quarterback. In his five years in the NFL, he’s totaled 45.5 sacks and 96 quarterback hits.
In a recent article by Pro Football Focus, they ranked the top pass rushers in the NFL. Not surprisingly, Ngakoue made the list, coming in at No. 24. Here is what the site had to say about the 26-year old stud rusher:
“Ngakoue should give some new life to the pass rush under first-year defensive coordinator Gus Bradley. He has recorded at least 42 pressures in each of his first five NFL seasons, with pass-rushing grades of 74.5 or higher in each of the past four years. Ngakoue just hasn’t quite gotten back to the dominance he flashed in 2017 as a pass-rusher, nor has he graded above 60.0 in any season against the run.”
As mentioned by the site, Ngakoue’s biggest knock is that he isn’t a good run defender. At under 250 pounds, he just doesn’t have the size or strength to hold up against big offensive tackles. However, the Raiders didn’t sign him to stop the run. They brought him in to rush the passer and we know that he can do that at an extremely high level.
Look for Maxx Crosby and Clelin Ferrell to play on early downs for the Raiders and for the team to keep Ngakoue fresh to rush the passer. Don’t be surprised if he has another double-digit sack season under Bradley in Las Vegas.
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