The Atlanta Falcons have added a few players this offseason the team hopes will be key pass rushers in 2023. But they may not be done with the additions.
At least that’s what Bleacher Report’s Brad Gagnon argued after the NFL draft.
Gagnon listed the Falcons as one of five possible destinations for former Pro Bowl edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue.
“Interestingly, a slew of well-accomplished veteran edges remained on the market in the lead-up to the draft,” Gagnon wrote. “At a certain point, it became somewhat obvious the gang would have to wait for the draft chips to fall before natural potential landing spots emerged.
“Worth monitor closely now? Yannick Ngakoue (65 sacks in seven seasons).”
Ngakoue has not only averaged more than 9 sacks per year, he’s reach at least 8 sacks in each of his seven seasons. That model of consistency would be a sight for sore eyes in Atlanta. The Falcons have just 39 sacks total over the past two seasons.
Last season with the Indianapolis Colts, Ngakoue recorded 9.5 sacks with 8 tackles for loss, 16 quarterback hits and 1 forced fumble.
For a man who has racked up sacks so consistently, Ngakoue has surprisingly been a journeyman during his NFL career. He’s played for five different teams in seven seasons. He also remains on the market now despite turning just 28 in March.
One reason Ngakoue could be available is his run defense. Out of 61 edge rushers who played at least 50% of his team’s defensive snaps last year, Ngakoue finished ranked 57th in run defense according to Pro Football Focus.
His impactful plays have been minimum in recent years as well. Ngakoue hasn’t had more than 2 forced fumbles since 2020.
But despite those drawbacks, Gagnon argued the Falcons should pursue Ngakoue. The team may be able to land him on a short-term deal like it did with Bud Dupree and Calais Campbell.