What’s the New Orleans Saints’ plan without Hau’oli Kikaha?

johnsigler
Sep 20, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan (94) celebrates following a sack on Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) during the second half of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Buccaneers defeated the Saints 26-19. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 20, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan (94) celebrates following a sack on Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) during the second half of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Buccaneers defeated the Saints 26-19. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports /
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Feb 28, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman DJ Pettway participates in workout drills during the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 28, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman DJ Pettway participates in workout drills during the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports /

D.J. Pettway, #77

As an undrafted free agent, D.J. Pettway had some hills to climb before earning a shot at staying on the team.  With the loss of Hau’oli Kikaha, the door is open a little wider for the Alabama Crimson Tide graduate to survive looming roster cuts.

Pettway was a rotational defensive end for Alabama but made a tremendous impact in that role.  Stuck playing on the deepest defensive line in the country, Pettway couldn’t get on the field much but he made every snap count.  This was especially seen in the NCAA Championship Game versus Clemson, when Pettway entered the lineup in the second half rested and ready to go.  He flourished, netting two batted passes and a number of quarterback pressures.

At 6-foot-2, 265-pounds, Pettway is the perfect size to fill in at weakside defensive end.  He’s used to playing in a rotation at the position and is the closest thing to Hau’oli Kikaha from a technical standpoint on the roster.  He still has to worry about being on the team in September, but I like Pettway’s chances.

Next: He's Kind of a Rookie

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