Colts’ Yannick Ngakoue ranked among ESPN’s top free agents
Indianapolis Colts defensive end Yannick Ngakoue is set to hit the free-agent market when the new league year officially begins in March.
In ranking the top-50 players currently set to be free agents, ESPN placed the pass rusher at No. 32 overall. He’s the only Colts player to make the list, which was compiled by analyst Matt Bowen.
“Age entering 2023 season: 28
Ngakoue had 9.5 sacks in 2022, bringing his total to 65 over eight NFL seasons. Given his subpar tape as a run defender, however, he should be targeted as a situational pass-rusher, a role in which he can use his top-end traits to win on the edge: burst off the ball, hand usage and the ability to bend around offensive tackles. We know NFL teams value edge rushers, and so Ngakoue will have a market, even if he tops out as a pass-rusher on nickel snaps.”
It certainly will be an interesting offseason for Ngakoue. He helped the Colts as a pass rusher, leading the team with 9.5 sacks and was second on the team with 16 quarterback hits.
However, his 11% pass-rush win rate was 50th among edge rushers, according to Pro Football Focus. It’s proof that, while he had some strong games, he disappeared at times as well.
Regardless, Ngakoue will have an intriguing appeal. He’s never had a season in which he’s recorded fewer than 8.0 sacks, and he has recorded 19.5 over his last two seasons.
Whether the Colts will bring him back remains to be seen. They aren’t flush with cash, and they probably want to see Dayo Odeyingbo and Kwity Paye get more work as the starting tandem moving forward.
Only time will tell if Ngakoue will return, but he should have a decent market in free agency.
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