Yannick Ngakoue became a nomad after leaving Jacksonville via trade in 2020. Quick stops with the Minnesota Vikings and Baltimore Ravens lowered his value when he hit the free-agent market.
The Las Vegas Raiders then worked out a deal to bring Ngakoue into the fold. The former Maryland Terrapin signed with the Raiders early in free agency to create a duo with Maxx Crosby.
Ngakoue took full advantage of the opportunity to have his best season since 2017. According to PFF, the former Jacksonville Jaguar had 63 pressures on the season, ranking 15th among edge rushers.
The production exhibited over 18 games is why Bucky Brooks of NFL Network slotted him fifth among the top ten free-agent signings.
Reuniting the one-time Pro Bowler with his former head coach (Gus Bradley) sparked a renaissance for the sixth-year pro. Ngakoue notched double-digit sacks (10.0) for the first time since 2017 and helped the Raiders’ front line become a more disruptive unit. With the veteran joining Maxx Crosby to create a formidable tandem on the edges, the Raiders are well-positioned to continue to wreak havoc on opponents on passing downs, even with Bradley heading to Indianapolis in 2022.
Ngakoue's continuous pressure on the quarterback was beautiful to watch. It was a significant development in the team's second double-digit win season since 2002. Raider Nation is expecting a repeat performance from the young Nigerian.
In other Raiders’ links:
- Raiders' Derek Carr, Maxx Crosby trade dunk-contest trash talk: Carr and Crosby exchange trash online after Tim Brown's dunk contest hit Twitter.
- Marcus Mariota named underrated free agent: Marcus Mariota is one of PFF's underrated free agents for the 2022 offseason.
- Best sounds of the season: The Raiders home website has the best sounds from the 2021 season.