The Indianapolis Colts were relatively active during the first week of free agency, which included the signing of defensive end Samson Ebukam on a three-year deal.
While our friends over at Touchdown Wire called the signing one of the biggest bargains of early free agency, ESPN’s Eric Moody also sang the praises of the move as their panel of analysts discussed the market’s best signings.
DE Samson Ebukam to the Indianapolis Colts. Last season with the 49ers, Ebukam posted career highs in sacks (five) and pass rush win rate (20.7%). The Colts’ defense will benefit from Ebukam’s technique and motor in 2023.
The developments of edge rushers Kwity Paye and Dayo Odeyingbo will be ones to watch during the course of the 2023 season, but the addition of Ebukam could have a strong impact from the LEO position in Gus Bradley’s defense.
That role, held mostly by Yannick Ngakoue in 2022, emphasizes an edge rusher’s ability to get after the quarterback. Ngakoue’s surface numbers were strong, posting a team-high 9.5 sacks. But far too often Ngakoue was inconsistent in getting to the quarterback, evidenced by his 11% pass-rush win percentage, which ranked 50th among edge rushers, according to Pro Football Focus.
The other area Ebukam adds to is against the run. Ngakoue is known for his pass-rushing skills, but he rarely made an impact against the run. That’s where Ebukam can make an even bigger impact and likely on a deal that will be cheaper than Ngakoue’s eventual contract—he’s still on the market as of this writing.
Ebukam should compete for a significant role within Bradley’s defense right away, and there’s still plenty of upside in both phases of the game for the Nigerian native.
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Story originally appeared on Colts Wire