The Baltimore Ravens already have one of the best defenses in the NFL. They rank in the top 10 in yards allowed per game (339.8) and are tied for second in sacks (22). There isn’t a whole lot of room for improvement, but general manager Eric DeCosta still managed find something anyway.
On Thursday, Adam Schefter of ESPN broke the news that Baltimore was trading a 2021 third-round pick and a conditional 2022 fifth-round pick to the Minnesota Vikings for defensive Yannick Ngakoue. It’s an interesting move for the Vikings, but a brilliant move for the Ravens.
Vikings and Ravens finalizing a trade to send DE Yannick Ngakoue to Baltimore for a 2021 third-round pick and a 2022 conditional fifth-round pick, sources tell ESPN.
Vikings initially sent 2021 second-round pick and 2022 conditional fifth-round pick to Jags. Now get most back.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 22, 2020
The Jacksonville Jaguars initially traded Ngakoue to Minnesota in late August, but his time with the Vikings was short-lived. Now, the pass rusher will have a chance to compete for a Super Bowl with Baltimore.
The Ravens currently have a 5-1 record with one of the most complete rosters in the league. The Vikings, on the other hand, are just 1-5 and looking to rebuild. That rebuild will not include Ngakoue apparently.
The 25-year-old has accumulated 42.5 sacks during his four and a half seasons in the NFL. Though a late-addition to the Viking roster, Ngakoue racked up five sacks in six games. Now, he’ll be playing alongside former teammate Calais Campbell, Matt Judon and Tyus Bowser.
Baltimore is absolutely loaded at all three defensive levels. Here is a breakdown of some of those top players at each level:
- DL: Calais Campbell, Brandon Williams, Derek Wolfe
- EDGE: Matt Judon, Yannick Ngakoue, Pernell McPhee, Tyus Bowser, Jihad Ward
- LB: Patrick Queen, L.J. Fort, Malik Harrison
- CB: Marlon Humphrey, Marcus Peters, Jimmy Smith (CB/S)
- S: Chuck Clark, DeShon Elliott
Is this defense perfect? No, but it should be considered one of the most dangerous units in the league right now. There is plenty of star power, even if the edge group is only together for one season.
The Ravens will now have 5 edge rushers due to to hit free agency after the season: Matthew Judon, Yannick Ngakoue, Pernell McPhee, Tyus Bowser and Jihad Ward.
— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiec) October 22, 2020
If Lamar Jackson can get back to playing at an MVP level, the Ravens could be ready to make a push for another Super Bowl in 2020. The team’s Achilles heel has been Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs.
It’s a good thing found another player who can get after him.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.