Indianapolis – For the 2021 NFL season, Yannick Ngakoue produced as a pass rusher. He finished the season with 10 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and 23 QB hits. If Ngakoue replicates that for the Colts in 2022, it will be the best season from a Colts pass rusher since Justin Houston in 2019. The difference between Ngakoue and Houston? Houston was 30 and entering the backside of his NFL career, Ngakoue will be 27 and entering his prime.
The Colts haven’t had this combination of proven production and ceiling from a defensive end since Robert Mathis wore the horseshoe.
Yannick Ngakoue in 2021:
💥 10 sacks
💥 23 QB hits
💥 63 pressures pic.twitter.com/ZegAa8zXhQ
— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) March 17, 2022
Nobody has better insight on the ins and the outs of the Las Vegas Raiders than The Athletics’ Senior Reporter Vic Tafur. Tafur joined 93.5 and 107.5 The Fan afternoon host JMV on his show Wednesday after the trade news had broke to give Colts fans an idea of the type of player Ngakoue can be for Gus Bradley’s defense:
“He’s been on 5 teams in his career so far but 3 of those have been with Gus Bradley so clearly there’s a pattern there. Gus absolutely loves and brought him to Vegas last year to lead some of the young guys. Ngakoue has matured a lot over the last couple years. All the players and coaches talked about the leadership from him and Maxx Crosby and the fact they kind of kept the team together with so much going on because of the Gruden drama and Henry Ruggs tragedy.”
One of the best part of Ngakoue’s game is his ability to allow his defensive end partner on the opposite side of the offensive line to make plays too:
“Maxx Crosby would say this also but Yannick was a huge part of his rise last year. Maxx got a lot more attention and a big new contract out of it. Ngakoue definitely helped Maxx not only in games but in practice to make guys better around him.”
Chris Ballard and Frank Reich are hoping that Ngakoue will allow 2021 1st round pick Kwity Paye to flourish in his second year to form the Colts best pass rushing duo at defensive end since Freeney & Mathis ravaged opposing QBs.
To hear JMV’s full conversation with Vic Tafur listen to the podcast below! JMV also asks about whether or not the Raiders would be willing to listen to offers for QB Derek Carr and how Gus Bradley transformed the Raiders defense in the one year as defensive coordinator in Vegas.