Last season, the Las Vegas Raiders managed to get to the quarterback only 21 times, a number one duo could reach by themselves in 2021.
It has been a very productive offseason for the Las Vegas Raiders, who added some quality players to areas of need on both sides of the ball. Between the 2021 NFL Draft, and free agency, the front office has tried to fix the remaining holes on this roster, and finally make the Silver and Black a playoff team.
In 2020, the offense for the Raiders was actually very productive, with Derek Carr going for over 4,000 yards for the third straight season, and both running back Josh Jacobs and tight end Darren Waller going over 1,000 yards. Both Waller and Jacobs were first-time Pro Bowlers, and despite trading away assets on the offensive line, they have brought in some solid replacements.
On the other hand, the defense was atrocious at times, and really the area they needed to improve this offseason. They did so by adding five players via the 2021 NFL Draft, and a few more new faces in free agency, including edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue.
Ngakoue was a guy who was on the Raiders’ radar for a while, and getting him will help improve one of the biggest deficiencies on this roster.
Raiders significantly improved the pass rush
In 2020, the Silver and Black were able to muster up only 21 sacks as a team, with seven of them coming from second-year star Maxx Crosby. Crosby has been an absolute monster since the team drafted him in the fourth round in 2019, becoming one of the premier, young edge rushers in football.
Now that there is some talent on the other side, and an upgrade in all three levels of the defense, the Raiders should be able to get after the quarterback more often. In 2019, Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa combined for 18.5 sacks as a tandem, which could be an insight into what Crosby and Ngakoue could do in a 17-game season in 2021.
Crosby has been able to get after the quarterback consistently without much help in his two seasons, so he must be excited for the arrival of Ngakoue. The former Jacksonville and Baltimore star has racked up at least eight sacks in each of his first five seasons in the league, with a high of 12, a mark he should hit in Las Vegas in 2021.