Bobby Okereke (Signed with NYG)
There was little doubt that linebacker Bobby Okereke was going to continue to be a menace in the NFL beyond his time with the Colts. Okereke racked up 283 total tackles for Indianapolis across 2021 and 2022. Despite being the team's leading tackler over the two previous seasons, the Colts let their 2019 draft pick walk this past offseason mainly due to his hefty price tag. Once available on the market, the Giants were quick to sign Okereke and made him one of the ten highest-paid linebackers in the league.
Okereke so far has delivered on that big contract, playing on 100% of defensive snaps while posting huge numbers. He has 113 total tackles (sixth-most in the league) and four forced fumbles (third-most) plus nine tackles for loss, eight passes defended, and two interceptions. New York hasn't had a great season but Okereke’s performance has been a rare bright spot. There’s a real chance Okereke will be voted to the Pro Bowl for the first time in his career in his debut season with the Giants.
Yannick Ngakoue (Signed with CHI)
Indianapolis made a huge offseason decision when they chose not to resign defensive end Yannick Ngakoue in favor of the more versatile Samson Ebukam who came over from San Francisco. Ngakoue led the Colts with 9.5 sacks last year and was top 20 league-wide. The Chicago Bears picked up Ngakoue before the start of the season on a one-year deal with expectations that his presence would bolster Chicago's pass rush which logged fewer sacks in 2022 than any other team.
Unfortunately for the Bears, Ngakoue hasn't been the impact edge rusher they were looking for. He has tallied just three sacks so far this season and, as a team, Chicago has 15 sacks this year which remains the lowest total in the league. At this point of time in 2022, Ngakoue already had 8.5 sacks plus seven QB hurries and four knockdowns. 2023 has clearly been a down year for Ngakoue though the same can be said for the Bears as a whole.