The Colts helped out their transition to Gus Bradley’s defensive scheme by adding edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue in March.
Defensive tackle DeForest Buckner was particularly happy about the trade, saying he was “jumping for joy” during a press conference on Wednesday.
“I was really excited in being able to add an elite rusher like Yannick,” Buckner said. “He brings a lot of things to the table. I saw a list of him with some Hall of Famers. Having a list of like first six seasons in the league and eight-plus sacks or something like that. He was with Reggie White and Aaron Donald — that’s an elite group. He can bring so many things to the table, even his leadership as a veteran to teach some of the young guys and coach up some of the young guys like Dayo [Odeyingbo] and Kwity [Paye] and even Ben [Banogu].
“I’m excited about what he’s going to be able to bring to the table. Obviously, he can take some doubles off of me and make the quarterback step up a little bit.”
Buckner has largely been the veteran on a young defensive line over the past few years, but Ngakoue should help the club’s edge rush — especially given his familiarity with Bradley. Playing all 17 games for the Raiders in 2021, Ngakoue recorded 10.0 sacks, eight tackles for loss, and 23 quarterback hits.