The Baltimore Ravens may have found two players that can give them more of a chance to reach the Super Bowl this season. This morning, we all woke up even though we could be looking at a nightmare brewing in Baltimore. What is that nightmare? The nightmare is that Baltimore has traded for Yannick Ngakoue from the Minnesota Vikings. This was the first of two moves Baltimore made today.
This is the second time Ngakoue has been traded in the last two months. In August, Nkagoue was traded from the Jacksonville Jaguars to the Minnesota Vikings. This trade ended is public feud with the Jaguars and specifically, the team’s executive Tony Khan. Khan was called a clown face by Ngakoue after Khan held up the process of Ngakoue being traded. In return, the Jaguars received a 2021 second-round pick and 2022 conditional draft picks.
During his short time with the Vikings, Ngakoue was off to a decent start. He had five sacks, 29 tackles, and two forced fumbles. Add this stat line to what the Baltimore Ravens have done so far, this defense will be scary. The Ravens gave up a 2021 third-round pick and a 2022 fifth-round pick to acquire the defensive end. Baltimore already has a top five defense in the NFL, with this move, they easily can become a top three defense.
However, Baltimore was not done for the day with adding Ngakoue. Just hours later, it was reported that Baltimore is also adding former Cowboys Wide Receiver Dez Bryant. Yes, Dez Bryant is on an NFL roster again… sort of. Bryant is being added to the practice squad, which means he still is going to have to wait for his opportunity, but with Lamar Jackson at Quarterback, that opportunity could come sooner rather than later.
Bryant hasn’t played since 2017, so it could take him some time to get back up to NFL speed while learning a new playbook. However, if Bryant learns the playbook quickly and is healthy, he easily can be the Dez Bryant of old, making defensive coordinators scared of him once again. In 2017, Dez had a quiet year in his last season with the Cowboys. He caught six touchdowns, had 69 receptions and 838 yards. Not the greatest season, but his presence enough makes defensive coordinators think hard about how Bryant should be covered throughout the game.
Baltimore, who already is one of the best teams in the NFL just got a lot better. The AFC already has an elite team in the Kansas City Chiefs. It’s time to add the Baltimore Ravens to that list too. If Ngakoue and Bryant perform at a top level, there is a real possibility Kansas City and Baltimore will go to battle with each other in the AFC Championship Game this season, and years to come.
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-Matt Burnett (@mattthew_jordan)