Las Vegas Raiders: Star edge rushers must be around for the long haul

Raiders, Yannick Ngakoue (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Raiders, Yannick Ngakoue (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

The Las Vegas Raiders have one of the better edge-rushing duos in the NFL, and that combination needs to be around for the long haul.

When the Las Vegas Raiders were looking for ways to improve their roster heading into the 2021 season, one thing was for sure, and that was that they needed to get Maxx Crosby some help on the outside. Fellow 2019 pick Clelin Ferrell had never developed into a pass rusher at the next level, and Carl Nassib was much more suited to be a depth guy coming off the edge.

One of the players the team had been keying on for some time was Yannick Ngakoue, a guy with a high motor who played for defensive coordinator Gus Bradley in Jacksonville. The Raiders were able to get their man in free agency, and from the start, he was talking about how he and Madd Maxx were the best edge-rushing duo in the NFL.

He may have been right all along.

Raiders duo dominates in 2021, need to be here for the long haul

When it comes to getting pressure on the quarterback, Crosby and Ngakoue were the best duos in the NFL, a trend that needs to continue moving forward. When he was signed, it was only a two-year deal for Ngakoue, so like Crosby, he needs to be extended this offseason, locking in place the two starting defensive ends spots for this franchise as they look to remain playoff contenders.

Crosby is the heart and soul of this Raiders defense, but is wildly underpaid, something that is going to have to change if the Raiders want to keep him in the Silver and Black.

Not only have these two guys excelled on the field this season in Las Vegas, but they have developed a bond, and have helped revamp this defense in the process. Las Vegas got some solid play on the interior of their defensive line this season, helping to free Crosby and Ngakoue coming off the edge, and while decisions have to be made in terms of what defensive tackles to bring back, these two players being franchise guys going forward is a no-brainer.