The Las Vegas Raiders finally add some pass-rushing help. During the NFL legal tampering period, the Raiders have agreed to sign Yannick Ngakoue to a two-year deal for $26 million and $22 million guaranteed. The contract can not be official until Wednesday, when the new league year starts.
The Raiders finished 29th in sacks with 21 sacks and 77 quarterback hits. So pass rush was much needed. Ngakoue will reunite with defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, who is now the Raiders defensive coordinator. Ngakoue played under Bradley as a rookie in Jacksonville and recorded eight sacks, four forced fumbles, and 23 tackles in his first season before making a big jump in year two with 12 sacks on his way to his first Pro Bowl.
Yannick Ngakoue is one of four players since 1982 to begin his career with five consecutive eight-plus sacks seasons. Last year while playing with the Minnesota Vikings and Baltimore Ravens, Ngakoue compiled eight sacks.
Ngakoue will be a significant upgrade to the Raiders’ passes rush; his 45.5 career sacks will help the defensive line a lot. He may not be strong against the run, but his ability to rush the passer will be needed.
Bradley uses a 4-3 scheme with cover 3 coverage, and he does not like to blitz. So adding Ngakoue was crucial to the Raiders’ new defense. Nagakoue could be starting next to Clelin Ferrell; some would be surprised that Maxx Crosby is not starting. But Crosby struggled against the run as well last year. Run defense is Ferrel’s strong point. Crosby as a situational pass rusher could be beneficial to him. You could see his sack numbers go up especially paying with Yannick.
No matter how you look at it, adding Ngakoue will help the Raiders’ defense, but there are more moves to fix the defense. Stay tuned to see what else the Raiders do.