In landing Yannick Ngakoue, stingy Ravens defense becomes lot scarier

In landing Yannick Ngakoue, stingy Ravens defense becomes lot scarier

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Trading for pass-rusher Yannick Ngakoue transforms a stout Baltimore Ravens defense into one of the NFL’s scariest.

No one would’ve criticized Baltimore for standing pat on defense before the trade deadline this year. The Ravens rank among the stingiest and most pressure-inducing defenses in the league, allowing the fewest points per game (17.3) and ranking second in the NFL in sacks (22).

Ngakoue’s stay in Minnesota wasn’t long, but he now brings to Baltimore a pass-rusher to bookend with Matthew Judon. AP Photo/David Berding

But like his blitz-happy defense, Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta went on the attack to deliver another playmaker that should turn a really good defense into a great one.

Acquiring Ngakoue from the

The Ravens actually tried to trade for Ngakoue this past summer, but he ended up going to Minnesota. AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn

Not only will Ngakoue help the Ravens ratchet up the heat on Everything you need this week:
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What should help Ngakoue is that he’ll have more time to get to the quarterback with the Ravens because Baltimore’s cornerbacks are significantly better than the young ones with the Vikings, who were struggling mightily. Some of Ngakoue’s best seasons in Jacksonville came when he played along with cornerbacks Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye. He’ll have a similar-caliber duo in Baltimore with Humphrey and Peters.

The move for Ngakoue closes out the Ravens’ long pursuit for a difference-making pass-rusher. After losing Terrell Suggs in free agency last year, Baltimore lacked the cap space to sign Justin Houston that offseason. This year, the Ravens talked to the Jaguars about a trade for Ngakoue (before he eventually went to the Vikings) and tried to work around a tight salary-cap situation by arranging a sign-and-trade to get Jadeveon Clowney before this season.

The Ngakoue move is the Ravens’ third major trade on defense over the last year. A year ago, Peters was acquired from the Rams for a fifth-round pick and linebacker Kenny Young. In March, defensive end Calais Campbell was added from the Jaguars for a fifth-round pick.

These are all high-priced acquisitions the Ravens can and should make with Jackson on his inexpensive rookie deal. This loaded defense should also help Jackson and the Ravens’ offense as they look to rediscover their identity this season.

Ngakoue will lighten the pressure on Jackson and put even more on opposing quarterbacks.

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