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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Dec 27, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles (5) is sacked by New Orleans Saints strong safety Kenny Vaccaro (32) and defensive end Obum Gwacham (58) in the second quarter at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 27, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles (5) is sacked by New Orleans Saints strong safety Kenny Vaccaro (32) and defensive end Obum Gwacham (58) in the second quarter at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports /

Obum Gwacham, #58

Originally poached from the Seattle Seahawks final roster cuts last September, Obum Gwacham spent most of his rookie year sitting frustrated as a healthy inactive on game days.  The former wideout has blossomed into a respectable pass rusher in his right, showing up to Saints minicamps with a bulked-up 258-pounds on his 6-foot-5 frame.

While Gwacham has less than a hundred NFL snaps to his name, he’s worked hard at his craft to be prepared for the opportunity in front of him.  He spent his offseason working out with teammates Hau’oli Kikaha and Kasim Edebali to refine his hand usage and turn weight room strength into functional strength on the field.

Now with Hau’oli Kikaha out for the year and Edebali sidelined in OTA’s (no explanation has been given yet), Gwacham has found himself running with the first team defense opposite Cameron Jordan.  Initial reports are speaking well of his burst off the edge and length, both traits that will decide how effective – if at all – he will be in 2016.  One interesting talent of Gwacham’s is his closing speed, which will help deter scrambling quarterbacks like Cam Newton.

Gwacham is an athletic terror who just needed to be shaped into an NFL defender.  He seems to be well on the way to achieving that goal.

Next: He's the favorite to start

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