The Las Vegas Raiders had to wait a while to take a look at their 2021 prized free-agent addition, pass rusher Yannick Ngakoue.
But apparently it was worth the wait.
Asked after the first day of the team’s mandatory minicamp on Tuesday who stood out on defense, Raiders’ quarterback Derek Carr didn’t hesitate to sing the praises of Ngakoue, who signed a two-year, $26 million deal with Las Vegas in March.
“I know it’s just been today, but Yannick [Ngakoue], my goodness,” Carr said on Tuesday. “Wow. What a guy. I sit there and I’m like, ‘He’s 26-years-old? Oh my goodness. This is good for the Raiders ... Yannick definitely popped today. When he steps on the field, there’s certain guys in football that when they step on the field and they do something, you’re like, ‘That’s a different level.’ He definitely has that about him.”
Ngakoue worked out on his own during the voluntary OTA sessions this spring. Yet, he showed up this week for the mandatory portion of the offseason and clearly, the Raiders are envisioning their pass rush improving with Ngakoue being a top performer. he has 45.5 sacks in five NFL seasons.
Ngakoue reunites with new Las Vegas defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, who was the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars when they drafted him in 2016. Carr can see the entire defense has a chance to improve under Bradley.
“I’ll just say this as a whole, I think the whole defense looks great,” Carr said. “I’m really excited to see what they do this season. Very, very excited to see what coach Gus Bradley and his staff brings because I’ve played against them, I know what it’s like. Very excited to see what happens this year, but again, we have to go prove it.”