The Raiders’ marquee defensive addition this offseason was edge rusher Chandler Jones.
But when Las Vegas brought in Jones, the team made a move that should also help the backend of its defense.
Shortly after news broke that Jones was going to be a Raider, the club traded edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue to the Colts in exchange for cornerback Rock Ya-Sin.
Entering the last year of his rookie deal, Ya-Sin has plenty of playing experience. He’s appeared in 41 games with 29 starts over the last three seasons, including 13 games with eight starts last season. He finished with eight passes defensed with a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in 2021, playing 54 percent of the Colts’ defensive snaps.
One of the Raiders defensive leaders, edge rusher Maxx Crosby, has worked out with Ya-Sin in the offseason for years. He said recently that he’s glad to have Ya-Sin on Las Vegas’ defense now.
“Ever since I met him, he’s always been one of the hardest-working guys in the gym,” Crosby said, via Adam Hill of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “We’ve kept a relationship and obviously when we got him, I called him right away. He’s a great teammate and I’ve been seeing him in the building every day. I’m fired up to have him. He’s quiet, but he’s got a personality. He’s just a great dude.”
Ya-Sin said this spring that he feels like he’s continued to become a more polished professional. That’s going to be key for him to help improve a Raiders defense that finished 14th in yards allowed and 26th in points allowed last year.