The New Orleans Saints will rely heavily on their younger players to find success in 2016, and defensive tackle Tyeler Davison will have a huge hand in the team’s successes or failures.
The Saints used their fifth-round (154th overall) pick in the 2015 NFL draft to take the Fresno State Bulldog standout. As a rookie, Davison played in 534 snaps (49.4 percent) for the team’s defensive line, and finished out with a Pro Football Focus grade of -5.6. He’d play in all 16 games for the black and gold, and finish with 18 total tackles and 1.5 sacks.
Davison often received double teams in 2015, but had some memorable one-on-one moments and played better down the stretch. That’s always a good sign when you see rookies develop instead of regress.
You can see one of his better moments here in some of my film study from last season.
The Bottom Line
Tyeler Davison is someone I peg for a breakout season. I feel that he should get the bulk of the reps for the Saints defensive line alongside Nick Fairley. Realistically, I believe Davison could start by splitting reps with John Jenkins, but it’s hard to say that Jenkins will even be on the team’s final roster (and I’m not the only one).
Davison’s approach for the new season only looks to be opportunistic, as he told The Times-Picayune of using his mistakes to get better.
"“Every day we’re going to go out and do some things well and we got to continue to build off of those things. We’re going to do some things not so well and we got to use those as learning opportunities. Learn the lesson from it and then go out the next day and improve. I feel like we’ve been doing that and as long as we continue doing that on a consist basis we’ll be a solid team.”"
No matter how you slice it, the black and gold have to improve over their 31 team sacks (T-25th) in 2015 and 34 team sacks (25th) in 2014 to be contenders. Of the sacks from last season, only Tyeler Davison (1.5) and John Jenkins (0.5) found success from the defensive interior line.