Jon Gruden has been eyeing Ngakoue since his Jaguars days. The Vikings and Ravens got him first, but Gruden now has his man. The deal will reunite Ngakoue with defensive coordinator Gus Bradley as the Raiders look to rekindle their pass rush. Ever since the Khalil Mack trade three years ago, they’ve struggled to generate consistent pressure.
Ngakoue, who turns 26 later this month, is set to enter his sixth season as a pro. With 45.5 career sacks to his credit, he’s a difference-maker — even if the Ravens didn’t use him all that much in the playoffs.
Ngakoue projects to lead a Raiders edge group that also features Maxx Crosby and Clelin Ferrell. Ferrell hasn’t lived up to Gruden’s expectations since he was drafted (and, arguably, reached for), but Ngakoue can help cover his deficiencies.
Ngakoue is not particularly strong against the run, but he averaged over nine sacks per season over his first four years in the league, and he has also shown some serious play-making ability. He forced 14 fumbles in that stretch and he directly responsible for five of the 12 defensive touchdowns the Jaguars scored between 2016 and 2019.
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