Saints need DeForest Buckner to create ‘Hawaiian Punch’
By Dean Mullen
DeForest Buckner is a great option for the New Orleans Saints in the 2016 NFL Draft to come in and complement Hau’oli Kikaha.
‘Who Dat Nation’ was very happy with last year’s pick of Hau’oli Kikaha in the second round. Although most of the fans and media struggled with the pronunciation and spelling of his name, his impact was immediate for the New Orleans Saints.
Kikaha finished with a total of 33 tackles and 4 forced fumbles. Add that with 4 sacks and a fumble recovery and the rookie shined in his debut season. Although the second half wasn’t as stellar due to a lingering ankle issue, Kikaha is primed to be better than 2015 this year.
So, the Who Dat Nation can only dream about having another Hawaiian native opposite Cam Jordan. Take a sneak peek:
This is what Mike Mayock said about DeForest Buckner form the NFL network:
"“He can play up and down the line of scrimmage. He’s nasty, he’s tough, he’s powerful. He’s got a little Reggie White hump move that’s friggin’ awesome. Eight to 10 years from now, I think he’ll be one of the guys we’ll be looking back at that will be in the conversation as the best defensive player to come out of this draft.”"
No he didn’t! Did he just say Reggie White? I’ll get back to that in a second. So, let’s break down DeForest Buckner. Buckner stands at 6-foot-7, 281 pounds. Some scouts compare Buckner to Calais Campbell from the Arizona Cardinals.
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DeForest Buckner led the Ducks in 2015 with 83 tackles as well as 17 for a loss. Buckner comes out one year after his teammate Arik Armstead, who was drafted in the first round by the San Francisco 49ers. The talk is that Buckner is much more talented than Campbell.
Perhaps the biggest challenge will be Buckner’s availability at pick No. 12 in the draft for the Saints. There are plenty of mock drafts out there that have him scattered all over the first round. The Saints can’t afford to miss out on this guy.
Depending on his potential landing spot, the Saints may want to do whatever is necessary to snag DeForest Buckner. There’s no doubt that the Saints need help at defensive tackle, but I’m convinced that this is a once in a decade kind of an impact player. Plus, Buckner has the flexibility and versatility to play along the entire line.
There’s also another intangible that is not talked about enough. Buckner was also born in Hawaii. There is simply a bond there already to Hau’oli Kikaha. This kind of info won’t show up in a scouting report.
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However, the roots that Kikaha and Buckner share can be deep, as both are from the great state of Hawaii. Kikaha could help him develop as well with one year under his belt. This Hawaiian Punch could be sweeter and deadly than any one-two punch. Put me down for a case or two.