Yannick Ngakoue: Maxx Crosby and I are the best duo hitting the scene
Since Jon Gruden returned to coach the Raiders a few years ago, the club has struggled to put together an effective pass rush.
Some of that clearly stems from the team trading Khalil Mack to the Bears just before the 2018 season started. But even last year, Las Vegas finished 29th with just 21 sacks.
Defensive end Maxx Crosby has led the team in sacks in each of his first two seasons. He now has a new running mate in free-agent signee Yannick Ngakoue. On Wednesday, Ngakoue set out a lofty goal for the pair.
“I think Maxx and myself are the best duo that’s going to come hit the scene — and I’m already putting that out there,” Ngakoue said in his press conference. “I feel like the NFL, they’ve kind of shied away from that, and that’s cool. But Maxx is a hard worker. He’s a guy that’s putting in the work. Literally, I [was just] lifting weights right now, Maxx is in there doing things to get better. So it’s the dedication and commitment, and I can play all day with a guy like that.”
Crosby had 10.0 sacks as a rookie in 2019 and 7.0 last season. Ngakoue had 8.0 in each of the last two years and has 45.5 since entering the league as a third-round pick in 2016.
Becoming one of the league’s top pass-rushing duos won’t be easy. But if it happens, it would set up Las Vegas’ defense for some significant, needed improvement.