The Las Vegas Raiders defense looks much-improved on paper after signing Yannick Ngakoue in NFL free agency.
Ngakoue should shore up a disappointing pass rush during the 2020 season, and the hiring of Gus Bradley should also help the Raiders in that regard. Ngakoue will be flanked by young players such as Clelin Ferrell and Maxx Crosby, two pieces that have shown flashes of their potential but have yet to make a true impact in the league.
As far as Crosby goes, he could see his snaps reduced because of Ngakoue’s arrival, but Bradley seems to think it will benefit everyone involved.
“I would say this, our philosophy is you can never have enough rushers,” Bradley said.
“Probably a lot of teams believe that, but I think we want to make sure we keep guys fresh. And Maxx is a very good player and he’s come in in great shape now. I like the way he looks, the way he’s practicing. He’s leaned up, he’s fast and I’ve been very impressed with him. So, we’ve got a number of guys like that. We’re hoping we can send two lines at people – not just one group – that we can stay fresh with the players. So, those edge guys are very important to us and the inside guys creating that push.”
Bradley’s right in that a team can never have enough players who can get after the quarterback, so he will have options depending on who is playing better on game day. Las Vegas did not have many people to turn to if they needed a jolt along the edge last season, but that should no longer be the case this time around.
Crosby has shown steady improvement as a pass rusher, but having someone like Nagakoue on the roster should only push him and make him better. If the pair along the rest of the defensive line can generate pressure consistently, then the Silver and Black should find themselves in every game they play this year.