After making a name for himself with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Yannick Ngakoue struggled during his stints with the Minnesota Vikings and Baltimore Ravens.
Looking for a chance to redeem himself and remind those around the league that he is a productive pass rusher, Yannick agreed to a two-year deal with the Las Vegas Raiders. Unfortunately, the Raiders had one of the worst pass rushes during the 2020 season, racking up a measly 21 sacks.
Ngakoue has been hard at work working on his game and body and recently posted a photo to his Instagram, noting that he had gained 12 pounds of muscle. The defensive end explained the need for the change and is hopeful it results in better results on the field.
“I was never given a target weight,” Ngakoue said. “At the end of the day, I just collected all of my thoughts and everything that I went through as far as Minnesota and Baltimore, and I just wanted to critique myself and see where I could be a better player at.
“I feel like putting more muscle on and still keeping that lean mass will help me be effective. I’m definitely not the same player that was on those two teams. That’s the main reason why I did it, I was trying to get better. The more weight you have, the more you can carry it, I feel like the more effective you can be at my position.”
Head coach Jon Gruden has already acknowledged that the team will be leaning on Ngakoue to help generate pressure off the edge and give the defense a chance to record more sacks and turnovers. The offense has been able to carry Las Vegas but needs the defense to step up if the team hopes to win games.
Even though the Silver and Black have talented young pieces in Clelin Ferrell and Maxx Crosby, Ngakoue is the clear leader of the group, and the team’s defensive turnaround needs to start with him.