Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh was a very impactful player for the Los Angeles Rams this past season, primarily during their playoff run to Super Bowl 53. He only had 4.5 sacks, but he also added 49 tackles, 4 pass deflections, and four tackles for a loss.
Pro-Football Focus gave him an 82.6 ranking, which put him in the top 20 of all defensive tackles. His impact is more than just his sack total. His presence at the point of attack allowed two-time Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald to collect 20.5 sacks. Without Suh, he only had 11.0 sacks the year prior.
Over his career, Suh’s never had high sack numbers. He’s only had more than 10 sacks once. He’s great at stopping the run and plugging gaps. He’s had more than 10 tackles for a loss in five separate seasons. The Nebraska product’s impact as a nose tackle in a 3-4 defense is unheralded, and it will make him some money this offseason.
There are three teams that could really use Suh heading into the 2019 season.
3. Kansas City Chiefs
Last season, the Chiefs had an excellent pass rush. Dee Ford, Chris Jones, and Justin Houston combined for a total of 37.5 sacks in 2018. However, their secondary and ability to stop the run were lacking. The Chiefs allowed 132.1 rushing yards per game, which ranked 27th in the entire league. They desperately need to improve their ability to stop opposing rushing attacks.
Adding Suh would drastically improve their ability to stop the run and would allow their pass rush to improve even further. Pro Football Focus ranked Kansas City’s front seven 17th in the entire league. With Suh, they’d likely have one of the best defensive lines in the NFL, which is a scary prospect given their potent offense.
2. Detroit Lions
Suh spent his first six seasons in the NFL with the Lions, and a homecoming would make a lot of sense for the franchise. He would provide a presence in the interior gaps on rushing plays and allow his teammates more one-on-one matchups.
The Lions did have a good rushing defense in 2018, ranking 11th in the entire league. Adding Suh would allow them to get even better. Plus, the fans would love to bring hack a hometown favorite.
1. Oakland Raiders
Last season, the Raiders literally had the worst front seven in the league, with Pro Football Focus ranking it 32nd in the NFL. They allowed 140.6 rushing yards per game, which ranked 30th overall, while recording just 13 sacks on the entire year. They desperately need to draft and acquire free agents to bolster their defense.
Suh would fit in perfectly, especially if they bring in another pass rusher like Jadeveon Clowney and a top draft pick. Jon Gruden and company desperately need a strong, veteran addition to their defensive line core. If they want to have any chance to stop the run in 2019, this is their best bet.