If the Indianapolis Colts are to make a big run at someone in free agency, why not make it Yannick Ngakoue?
Free agency is now just a month away, and for many teams, the process of re-signing players and clearing cap space has begun. The Indianapolis Colts have a few pending free agency decisions to make, most notably on Anthony Castonzo. The good news is that the Colts have the cap space to re-sign who they need and then potentially go after big ticket free agents.
If you’ve followed along here at Horseshoe Heroes, you know that our team has talked about a lot of pending free agents coming to Indianapolis. One of the most notable names in free agency is Jadeveon Clowney, who will likely command a deal nearing $20 million per season.
If the Colts want to shell out big money for a free agent, instead of considering Clowney, there’s another pass rusher who could make a big impact: Jaguars free agent Yannick Ngakoue.
Ngakoue was a third round pick out of Maryland back in 2016, and made his impact with the Jaguars right away, logging eight sacks, six tackles for loss, and 14 quarterback hits. He’s had at least eight sacks in his four seasons in Jacksonville, with his biggest output coming in 2017 (12 sacks, 10 tackles for loss). Ngakoue has also consistently been up near the top of the list in PFF’s quarterback pressure rankings, which compile sacks, hits, and hurries.
So why Ngakoue over someone like Clowney? Well, if the Colts are indeed looking for a pass rusher in free agency, Ngakoue fits the mold much better. Clowney may be a better run defender, but Ngakoue is the better pure pass rusher. He trims the edge so well by converting speed to power off the edge, and has active hands and good athleticism. His ability to create pressure on the quarterback is something Indianapolis desperately needs right now.
As a bonus, Ngakoue’s projected market value is around $17.1 million per season, close to $3 million less than Clowney’s projected value, per spotrac.
So, if the Indianapolis Colts are to make a big splash in free agency on the defensive line, the better option for them is Yannick Ngakoue.