Saints defensive potential: Best roster options right now

traymond
SANTA CLARA, CA - OCTOBER 06: Alex Okafor #57 of the Arizona Cardinals reacts after a play against the San Francisco 49ers during their NFL game at Levi's Stadium on October 6, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - OCTOBER 06: Alex Okafor #57 of the Arizona Cardinals reacts after a play against the San Francisco 49ers during their NFL game at Levi's Stadium on October 6, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
1 of 3
Next
SANTA CLARA, CA – OCTOBER 06: Alex Okafor #57 of the Arizona Cardinals reacts after a play against the San Francisco 49ers during their NFL game at Levi’s Stadium on October 6, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA – OCTOBER 06: Alex Okafor #57 of the Arizona Cardinals reacts after a play against the San Francisco 49ers during their NFL game at Levi’s Stadium on October 6, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Saints have made several changes since last season. Including important ones to the defensive line.

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that there has been speculation over whether the New Orleans Saints adequately filled one of the teams biggest needs, defensive end, during the offseason. With such an important hole that needed to be addressed, I’m not quite sure at this point who the Saints could have brought in without causing any uncertainty. Now what should be noted though is that the Saints acquired some interesting players. They will have some exciting competition guaranteed as training camp is right around the corner.

Although the edge rushers had their high points at times, statistically the team severely needs help. Let’s take a look to see where the team’s weak point currently stand. The Saints only managed to produce 30 sacks last year, ranking a miserable 27th in the National Football League. Beyond Cameron Jordan off of the edge last year, the Saints fell flat.

Of the 30 sacks, the Saints produced last season, 10.5 of them came from the edge, 10.5 came from the interior of the defensive line, 7 came from linebackers, and 2 came from the secondary.

Although sacks aren’t the only stat on which analysis should be based, this breakdown provides critical insight where the Saints need help. The bottom line here folks is the Saints NEED a dominant edge rushing presence opposite of Cameron Jordan. To a defensive line, where the ultimate goal is to produce pressure, including sacks, these numbers are really unfortunate. To say the least.

Let’s make a comparison here, folks.

To a division rival, the Atlanta Falcons. Although the Saints’ nemesis choked in the Super Bowl, they made it that far with the help of OLB / DE Vic Beasley Jr. Beasley ALONE had 15.5 sacks. That’s more than every New Orleans Saints DE that produced a sack last year combined. The Atlanta Falcons were on the right path last season, and a big part of it was generating consistent pressure from the defensive line, which, unfortunately, the Saints haven’t managed to fully do yet. To a defensive line, where the ultimate goal is to produce pressure, including sacks, these numbers are really unfortunate, to say the least.

The Atlanta Falcons were on the right path last season. A big part of that was generating consistent pressure from the defensive line, which, unfortunately, the Saints haven’t managed to fully do yet.

As bumming as these stats are, I’m here today to bring positivity and optimism to Who Dat Nation. It’s been said numerous times over the past year by several websites including those here at Who Dat Dish, that the Saints need a standout defensive end. This year the Saints may have very well solved that nagging issue. Today I’m here to look at the New Orleans Saints best options at defensive end. 

facebooktwitterreddit