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Ravens News 10/23: Chasing Ultimate Goals and more

NFL: DEC 29 Colts at Jaguars Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Ravens Trade for Premier Pass Rusher Yannick Ngakoue - Ryan Mink

“We are excited to add Yannick Ngakoue to our football team,” General Manager Eric DeCosta stated. “Yannick is someone who we are very familiar with going back to the draft process years ago. He is an exciting player and a dangerous pass rusher who makes us better. Yannick grew up here. He’s the type of person we welcome in our building. Finally, we are not finished building this team, as we continue to chase our ultimate goals.”

Ngakoue was a third-round pick of the Jaguars in 2016. He and defensive end Calais Campbell, who the Ravens traded for this offseason, formed a dominant duo for the Jags defense in 2017. Campbell had a team-high 14.5 sacks and Ngakoue had a career-high 12 sacks and six forced fumbles.

“I can’t wait to get him in here and hopefully we can go out there and do it like we used to sacking quarterbacks. Meet at the quarterback!” Campbell said after hearing the news.

“I know he wants to win. He loves the game of football. This is a place where he’s going to flourish. This culture is going to bring the best out of him and his game. He’s just scratching the surface of how good he can be.”

In addition to his sack totals, Ngakoue has recorded 134 total tackles (117 solo), 16 forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, nine passes defensed and two interceptions.

BREAKING: Cowboys Ex Dez Bryant To Sign With Ravens - Mike Fisher

Ever since his April 2018 release from his beloved Dallas Cowboys, and then the ensuing season-ending injury sustained after a two-day stint in New Orleans, Dez Bryant has been searching for the right place and the right time.

Today. In Baltimore. ... Maybe both.

“You know it!’’ Bryant told in late August about his plan to eventually land with the Ravens. He attended a workout then, and today he plans on signing with Baltimore, his trainer David Robinson tells us.

After he signed a one-year deal in New Orleans in November 2018, he tore his Achilles tendon two days later. He’s made it clear in conversations with us that now, as he’s about to turn 32 in November, he’s prepared to play a supplemental role for a Super Bowl contender.

The Ravens could use the help. The Ravens are contenders. Today is Dez’ day.

With Yannick Ngakoue trade, Ravens get exactly what they need to keep pace with Chiefs - Adam Kilgore

The Baltimore Ravens’ trade for pass rusher Yannick Ngakoue is a targeted strike, an acquisition of a player who perfectly fixes their specific necessity against the opponent most likely to block their path to the Super Bowl — the only goal that matters for them. They had a defense capable of overwhelming bad offenses. Ngakoue decreases their vulnerability against good offenses and cracks open their odds of containing the greatest.

The Kansas City Chiefs informed the Ravens of what they lacked. Baltimore’s offensive lethargy earned the most scrutiny that Monday night, but the 34-20 thumping laid bare its defensive shortcoming against the one opponent it most needs to solve.

The Ravens hit Patrick Mahomes only four times and didn’t record a sack. They sent frequent blitzes at him and hurried him 12 times, but Mahomes used most of those occasions as opportunities to drift backward or rollout and find an open man. He completed 31 of 42 passes for 385 yards and four touchdowns.

Ngakoue may not make a major difference for the Ravens against lesser competition, but he will be crucial if they meet the Chiefs in January. The only way to slow Mahomes is to pressure him with four defenders — that’s the reason the 49ers contained him for a half in the Super Bowl and exactly why the AFC contender Indianapolis Colts traded San Francisco for DeForest Buckner.

Baltimore Ravens analysis: What Yannick Ngakoue trade, Dez Bryant’s potential arrival mean for title hopes - Aaron Kasinitz

DeCosta has options at pass rusher as he looks to the future

To get Ngakoue, the Ravens traded a 2021 third-round pick and conditional fifth-rounder in ’22 to the Vikings, according to various reports. While that’s not an insignificant price for a team that cherishes its collection of draft picks, it doesn’t handicap the team severely in the future.

Ngakoue signed a one-year, $12 million deal to play for Minnesota this season and can enter free agency in March. Judon, on the franchise tag, is also in line to hit the market.

The Ravens likely will want to sign one of those two players to a long-term contract, but either player would probably sign a large deal in free agency that could net Baltimore a third- or fourth-round compensatory draft selection. So Baltimore could commit to one of the two edge rushers and still recoup draft compensation. That softens the blow of losing picks in the deal with Minnesota.

So DeCosta will need to get creative to keep the Ravens’ best players together long term while complying with the salary cap.

In a couple months, the team will address the challenge of hanging onto talent. Thursday, DeCosta was aggressive and opportunistic in obtaining it.

2021 NFL Mock Draft: Giants add game-changer at receiver, Ravens keep adding to defense and all of Round 1 - Josh Edwards

Round 1 - Pick 30

Hamilcar Rashed Jr. LB

OREGON STATE • SR • 6’4” / 235 LBS



Hamilcar Rashed Jr. is an athletic pass rusher that can eventually replace Matt Judon if Baltimore is looking to conserve salary cap space. The time to pay Lamar Jackson is coming.