Las Vegas Raiders getting premier edge rusher in Yannick Ngakoue
By Brad Weiss
The Las Vegas Raiders have struggled to get after the quarterback since Khalil Mack left town, but they added a huge piece to the pass rush in Yannick Ngakoue.
Heading into the 2021 offseason, there were areas of this Las Vegas Raiders roster that they had to address more than others. One key area was along the edge on defense, where the team has struggled to garner any kind of pass rush since Khalil Mack left the franchise via trade.
On Monday, Las Vegas took a big step forward in correcting their issues when it comes to getting after the quarterback, agreeing on a two-year deal with the talented Yannick Ngakoue. This is a player who can come in and help this team immediately, giving the Silver and Black a dominant player to team with Maxx Crosby in the pass rush.
Ngakoue will only turn 26 at the end of the month, and if he earns his money in Las Vegas, he could be a long-term solution for the Raiders.
Raiders bolstered pass rush in a big way on Monday
Last season, the Raiders were able to muster only 21 sacks as a team, with Crosby getting to the quarterback seven times. Fellow 2019 draft selection Clelin Ferrell, an edge rusher picked at No. 4 overall out of Clemson, has yet to prove he can make an impact in terms of sacks so far, and Ngakoue is someone who has certainly proven he can.
Ngakoue has at least eight sacks in every one of his five NFL seasons, including a career-high 12.0 sacks during the 2017 campaign.
The 2021 season will be a reunion of sorts for Ngakoue and Raiders defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, who drafted him in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft. The hope is that the two can help each other in 2021 and beyond, and if Ngakoue can improve this pass rush, the Raiders can cross one of their biggest needs off their list.