New Orleans Saints Sophomore Spotlight: Kasim Edebali
It’s year two for the 2014 NFL Draft class, and a number of young players are looking to take their talents to the next level in their second season. For many, they’ll be seeing the field for the first time. For others, like New Orleans Saints OLB Kasim Edebali, they’ll have a prime opportunity to battle it out this summer for their first starting gig since joining the league.
With 11 players on the Black and Gold’s roster who are officially entering their second year as professionals, today, we’ll take a look at Edebali as part of our ‘Sophomore Spotlight’ series.
Kasim Edebali, who was a special teams connoisseur for the New Orleans Saints and one of the backup linebackers to Junior Galette and Parys Haralson, had a quiet, but good first year as an overlooked undrafted free agent in 2014.
He was a staple in Boston College‘s unit as a defensive end, recording 67 tackles, 9.5 sacks, five passes defended and three forced fumbles as a senior. During his rookie season down on the bayou, Kasim Edebali totaled 22 tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble in just 181 snaps compared to Cam Jordan and Junior Galette, who played a combined total of over 1800 snaps.
While Edebali finished with an overall grade of -10.2, according to Pro Football Focus, he showed flashes of what he can do when on the field. Plus, it’s not easy finding consistency in a limited role.
Now, with Galette’s future with the Saints up in the air, Edebali will have a chance to compete for a starting job in 2015. He certainly owns intriguing upside – he’s quick, explosive, is a strong tackler and excels at locating the ball. Of course, rookie second-round pick Hau’oli Kikaha may have a little something to say about that, as he was arguably the nation’s most polished pass rusher with the Washington Huskies a year ago.
Kasim Edebali is definitely somebody to root for. There’s a pretty cool story behind the helmet. At the age of 18 and speaking limited English, he hopped on a plane from his native country Germany to the United States as part of the USA Football International Student Program.
Before redshirting as a freshman at BC in 2009, he prepped at Kimball Union Academy, a school in Meridan, New Hampshire. He actually played as a tight end for the German under-19 national team before making the switch to defensive end in America.
However, a biography means nothing out on the football field. Head coach Sean Payton will find the best man for the job, but Kasim Edebali certainly shouldn’t be counted out. Be sure to keep an eye on the underdog when training camp kicks off at the end of July.