Las Vegas Raiders offseason acquisitions that are paying dividends in 2021
The Front 7
Yannick Ngakoue – edge defender
Without a shadow of a doubt, the Las Vegas Raiders’ most jaw-dropping acquisition this offseason was Yannick Ngakoue. On the season, Ngakoue has been a consistent terror for opposing quarterbacks.
The Raiders’ defensive end ranks eighth in the NFL in the total pressures generated category, per Pro Football Focus. The duo of him and NFL pressures leader Maxx Crosby has been the driving force behind the Silver and Black’s significant defensive improvement this season.
Denzel Perryman – linebacker
The Raiders entered the 2021 offseason with a solid group at the linebacker position. However, due to the injuries of Nicholas Morrow and Javin White, a void was created at the MIKE linebacker position before the regular season began.
As a result, the team opted to bring in veteran Denzel Perryman, who played under defensive coordinator Gus Bradley for four years with the L.A. Chargers. Perryman has not disappointed as there are few better backers than him in terms of run defense. The NFL’s leading tackler has been a physical force at the second level of the Las Vegas defense, who also bears the defense’s communication (green dot) responsibilities.
Solomon Thomas – defensive tackle
Another veteran free-agent acquisition to Las Vegas was former San Fransisco 49ers first-round pick, Solomon Thomas. After an underwhelming stint with San Fransico, Thomas has been rejuvenated as a member of the Silver and Black. Per Pro Football Focus, Thomas ranks third of all defensive tackles (minimum six games played)pass-rush productivity.
To clarify, it is a formula that combines sacks, hits, and hurries relative to how many times they rush the passer per their Premium Stat grading system.