The Raiders aren’t expected to be quite as aggressive in free agency compared to previous seasons. However, if and when they do, expect them to look for defensive linemen that can get after the quarterback.
One possible option could be defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, who the Raiders had some interest in before he was traded to the Minnesota Vikings and then the Baltimore Ravens. Despite changing teams twice since the start of the season, Ngakoue totaled eight sacks and 15 quarterback hits.
In a recent article by Pro Football Focus, the site suggested that the Raiders make an offer for Ngakoue once free agency hits. Here is what they said about the potential pairing:
“The Raiders made what the data says was the right move in trading away Khalil Mack at the peak of his powers given what they got in return for him, but it doesn’t change the reality that they haven’t been able to build a consistently strong pass-rush unit since he left. They have found useful players along that defensive front — but nobody who can generate reliable pressure on the quarterback.
Yannick Ngakoue is a potential answer there, even if he is a liability in the run game. He has a PFF pass-rushing grade of at least 75.0 in each of the past four seasons, more than five grading points better than any Raiders edge rusher managed this season.”
If the Raiders were able to add someone like Ngakoue on top of Maxx Crosby and Clelin Ferrell, the edge-rushing position would be set for 2021 and beyond. Those three all have different skillsets and can all play together with Ferrell sliding to defensive tackle on obvious pass-rushing downs.
Keep Ngakoue in mind as a potential target for the Raiders in the upcoming months. He fits their scheme and was even drafted by Gus Bradley back in 2016. This is a signing that would make too much sense for both parties.