Brodrick Bunkley could be on New Orleans Saints roster bubble as youngsters emerge


After moving on from a disappointing former first-round pick in Sedrick Ellis, who eventually gave up on his NFL career, the New Orleans Saints made what was supposed to be a promising free agent acquisition.

However, veteran Brodrick Bunkley hasn’t been all that better since taking his talents to this Big Easy in 2012.  While his run defense was not all that bad a season ago, he is certainly no game-changer, which is something the Saints will be looking for out of their promising younger talent.

Also a former first-round pick, Bunkley has been no more than another body on the field.  And while just about all of the defense struggled in 2014, it’s the Florida State product that highlighted the starters on the defensive front as a non-factor.

Granted, injuries continued to be a problem a season ago, but that only makes matters worse.  For somebody that hasn’t yet played a full season since joining the Black and Gold and missed the first week of OTAs, his time could be limited down on the bayou.

He totaled just 18 tackles, with zero sacks, zero hits on the the quarterback and only four hurries.  Of course, he wasn’t picked up to be a pass rusher, but numbers don’t lie, and the numbers he’s accumulated over the past three season are not starting material.

Anybody on the roster can do what Brodrick Bunkley has done, and at 31-years-old, I don’t see any sort of improvement on the horizon.  If the team can’t get any increase in production, the nose tackle could be kissing New Orleans goodbye sooner rather than later.

At least Bunkley helped the team by taking a pay cut this offseason.  But with John Jenkins and Lawrence Virgil in the mix, Sean Payton and company may want to go younger.

The Saints also made a nice little splash in the draft and in the undrafted free agent market.  Fifth-round pick Tyeler Davison looks to be steal as a potential big man who could come in and eventually set the tone in the middle of the defensive line.

A strong option in the middle if New Orleans runs more 4-3 sets (very likely), Akiem Hicks could also cause a real problem for Brodrick Bunkley’s future.  Big rookies like Bobby Richardson, Ashaad Mabry and Kaleb Eulls are also potential candidates to steal the show.

While experience is always a plus, a decline with age, which is all we’ve seen from Bunkley, places him on the roster bubble.  With a handful of youngsters looking to showcase their talents, he’ll need an excellent performance to separate himself from his competition at camp this summer if he wants to truly be considered a viable option on a defensive line that has struggled mightily in the past.  He’ll be one of many storylines to follow as we approach the new NFL season.

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