The FA Pass Rusher is Massive, Has 42.5 Career Sacks, and a Noteworthy Vikings Link

NFL: London Games-Miami Dolphins at Jacksonville Jaguars
Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Not too long ago, PurplePTSD jumped into the idea of Emmanuel Ogbah joining the Vikings.

There’s no such thing as too many pass rushers in the NFL, a league that has shifted dramatically toward emphasizing the pass. Sensibly enough, defenses are responding by trying to ratchet up the pass rush. Well, a FA pass rusher such as Ogbah has the potential to be of assistance, an idea that a recent piece on Bleacher Report explores.

FA Pass Rusher Emmanuel Ogbah and The Vikings’ Defense

The connection to Brian Flores is notable for Mr. Ogbah, the 30-year-old pass rusher who stands at 6’4″ and tips the scales at 275.

“The Minnesota Vikings could also consider Ogbah,” BR’s Kristopher Knox argues, “after reloading their pass-rushing rotation this offseason. They lost Danielle Hunter but added Jonathan Greenard, Andrew Van Ginkel, Jihad Ward and rookie Dallas Turner.”

Syndication: The Record
East Rutherford, NJ November 24, 2023 — Emmanuel Ogbah of Miami strips Jets quarterback Tim Boyle of the ball in the second half as the Miami Dolphins defeated the NY Jets 34-13 at MetLife Stadium on November 24, 2023 in East Rutherford, NJ to play in the first Black Friday NFL game.

The BR piece goes on: “Ogbah would be a bit of a luxury addition for Minnesota, but it’s worth noting his connection with Vikings defensive coordinator Brian Flores. Flores was Miami’s head coach during Ogbah’s two nine-sack campaigns in 2020 and 2021.”

The earlier discussion on PurplePTSD highlights some similar points.

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Vikings Linked to “Luxury Addition” Free Agent

Right now, the Vikings have an impressive top trio in Jonathan Greenard, Andrew Van Ginkel, and Dallas Turner. What about a fourth to really push the group to the max? That’s where Mr. Ogbah could factor into the mix.

NFL: NFL Draft
Apr 25, 2024; Detroit, MI, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker Dallas Turner poses after being selected by the Minnesota Vikings as the No. 17 pick in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft at Campus Martius Park and Hart Plaza. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Last season, the veteran edge rusher picked up 5.5 sacks for the Dolphins while playing just 246 snaps for the defense (15 games with a single start). Otherwise, the veteran defender picked up 20 tackles, 9 QB hits, 3 TFLs, 1 INT, 2 PDs, and 1 FF.

PFF gave him a steady 57.2 grade for his season, but that’s a number that sees a dramatic difference between run defense and the pass rush. The run portion was down at 39.7; the pass rush portion was up at 67.1.

In other words, the team that signs Ogbah likely is doing so with a specific role in mind. He can be brought in as an assassin-for-hire, someone to get after the quarterback in obvious passing downs. From 2020-21 (as Knox notes), Ogbah was working alongside Brian Flores in Miami, picking up 9 sacks in each one of those seasons (which is to say nothing of a combined 45 QB hits within that time).

Nov 13, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah (91) takes the field prior to the game against the Cleveland Browns at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Brian Flores wants to have a versatile, unpredictable defense that’s constantly on the attack. Being able to accomplish those goals is dependent on the personnel, which does show promise.

The pass rushers, in particular, look capable of turning into a talented trifecta (Greenard, Van Ginkel, & Turner). Boosting that up to four, though, would be offer even more potential to be disruptive on passing downs, especially since Ogbah wouldn’t need to be an every-down starter.

Minnesota is working with roughly $26 million in cap space. Even though J.J. McCarthy and Dallas Turner still need to do their deals, the Vikings will have more than enough money to add more talent.

Editor’s Note: Information from Pro Football Reference, PFF, and Over the Cap helped with this piece.

K. Joudry is the Senior Editor for Vikings Territory and PurplePTSD. He has been covering the Vikings full time since the summer of 2021. He can be found on Twitter and as a co-host for Notes from the North, a humble Vikings podcast.