Last week, Yannick Ngakoue announced his arrival to the Las Vegas Raiders in a memorable way.
The free-agent prize pass rusher proclaimed that he and fellow Raiders’ defensive end Maxx Crosby could be the best pass rusher duo in the NFL this season.
“I think that Maxx and myself are the best duo that’s going to come hit the scene,” Ngakoue told media members last Wednesday. “I’m already putting that out there ... Maxx is a hard worker. He’s a guy that’s putting in the work. Literally, I’m lifting weights right now and Maxx is in there doing things to get better. It’s the dedication and commitment. I can play all day with a guy like that.”
I loved Ngakoue’s confidence and expectation level.
He and Crosby certainly have the ability to be a dynamic pass rush tandem. Ngakoue has 45.5 career sacks in five NFL seasons and Crosby has 17 sacks in two years, so they both have solid resumes when it comes to bring down the quarterback.
However, for these two to be the best in the NFL, they will have to outproduce a lot of great pass rush tandems.
Among the best in the NFL are:
- Cam Heyward and T.J. Watt of the Pittsburgh Steelers
- Preston Smith and Za’Darius Smith of the Green Bay Packers
- Chris Jones and Frank Clark of the Kansas City Chiefs
(Clark is facing weapons charges that could affect his season.)
- J.J. Watt and Chandler Jones of the Arizona Cardinals
- Von Miller and Bradley Chubb of the Denver Broncos
- Jason Pierre-Paul and Shaquil Barrett of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
These are all power tandems, but if Ngakoue and Crosby can both stay healthy, they have a chance to live up to Ngakoue’s claims. If so, the Raiders will be in business.