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INDIANAPOLIS It was a need that couldn’t again rely on the hope of continued young development

The defensive line, and pass rush specifically, means too much for the Colts to have followed that script again.

Chris Ballard made a big move on Wednesday, acquiring pass lass rusher Yannick Ngakoue (6-2, 246) from the Raiders, in exchange for cornerback Rock Ya-Sin.

Ngakoue, 26, brings 55.5 career sacks and 119 quarterback hits to Indy. He also had recent production under Gus Bradley last year with the Raiders (10 sacks and 23 QB hits). It was Bradley, as the head coach of the Jaguars in 2016, who selected Ngakoue in Round Three of the NFL Draft.

Another note on Ngakoue that shouldn’t be overlooked has been his availability. He’s missed just 2 games in 6 NFL seasons. Availability has been a major issue for the Colts defensive line over the years.

With Ngakoue, the Colts finally have a proven edge rusher, still in his mid-20s, which is something the franchise hasn’t sniffed in more than a decade.

Ngakoue has achieved consistent production from his rookie season, while still having some prime years ahead of him. That combination is so difficult to find at the edge rusher position.

On run downs, Ngakoue can be opposite Kwity Paye at defensive end. Inside will be Grover Stewart and DeForest Buckner. Then on pass downs, Dayo Odeyingbo can enter the mix with Stewart exiting.

Yes, the further development of Paye and Odeyingbo are critical in 2022, but the addition of Ngakoue gives the Colts an edge guy who strikes some fear and necessary game planning for an opposing offense.

It’s worth mentioning that in an ideal Bradley defense, he isn’t dialing up much blitz. The Raiders had one of the lowest blitz rates in the NFL always year.

Therefore, you need individual rushers that can create on their own.

That is something Ngakoue has done throughout his career, and Colts fans have seen it firsthand (Ngakkoue’s 8.5 career sacks against the Colts are 3 more than any he’s recorded against any other team).

Scheming up a pass rush sounds good, but sometimes you just need a guy to go win 1-on-1, and that’s an ability Ngakoue should immediately inject into the Colts.

Ngakoue has played for 4 other NFL teams (Jaguars, Vikings, Ravens, Raiders) and joins the Colts in the final year of his contract.

With Ya-Sin exiting, cornerback is a need that could certainly use more Colts attention this offseason. Kenny Moore and Isiah Rodgers are under contract. Newly signed Brandon Facyson brings a longer frame to corner, similar to Ya-Sin. But this position can’t be done with Ya-Sin exiting.

Still though, finding an edge rusher who has done it at this level was so vital. And the Colts accomplished that on Wednesday.