If the Baltimore Ravens decide Yannick Nagakoue becomes too pricey, the Las Vegas Raiders should pursue him.
The Raiders need help with their pass rush and in a bad way, as the unit totaled a measly 21 sacks in 2020. If the organization truly wants to revamp their porous defense, they’ll need to get defensive coordinator Gus Bradley some weapons. Spending on a noteworthy veteran player will achieve this. One player they could bring in is Yannick Ngakoue, a pass rusher that Raider Nation was clamoring for last season. There were rumors, but in the end, nothing happened, as the team refused to part ways with their coveted draft capital.
After slitting the 2020 season with the Ravens and Minnesota Vikings, Ngakoue will be an unrestricted free agent. The Raiders obviously need help defensively but will have to be prudent spenders. They cannot afford to drop serious money on free agents that have a minimal impact like last year’s free-agent class. As far as Ngakoue, he’s talented but his production is dubious, so should the Raiders take a chance?
What can Ngakoue do for the Raiders?
Depending on how Bradley envisions using Maxx Crosby and Clelin Ferrell, Ngakoue could start as a defensive end. The problem is we don’t know how the unit will look for the Raiders after the draft. By then, the team will have signed any potential impact free agents as well.
Statistically speaking, 2020 was an uneven year for Ngakoue. However, this could’ve stemmed from changing teams twice in one season. Regardless, he accumulated eight sacks, four forced fumbles, and 26 pressures. Even though this might’ve been a ‘down’ year for Ngakoue, he was still better than anything the Raiders fielded in 2020.
Ngakoue’s pass-rushing grade was 76.1 for 2020 and 77.5 for 2019 per Pro Football Focus. The numbers certainly show that the former third-round pick can get it done, and no doubt he’d have an instant impact on this Raiders defense. This offseason, the Silver and Black don’t have to cough up any draft capital for Ngakoue, but will they cough up the cash? Let us know your thoughts Raider Nation, if the team can clear up some space, should they splurge?
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) November 22, 2020
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*Top Photo: Associated Press/Matt Patterson