Backups: Zack Baun and Kaden Elliss
Behind the starters are Zack Baun and Kaden Elliss who have very different stories. Baun, as mentioned on the previous slide, was the team’s third-round pick in 2020 and he hasn’t amounted to much during his time in the league.
The Wisconsin product has mostly been contributing on special teams and while he’s been effective in that department, NOLA didn’t spend a third-rounder on a special teams player. They were hoping to get a highly productive linebacker but that sadly hasn’t been the case.
As for Elliss, he was a seventh-round pick by the Saints in the 2019 draft and has managed to stick around despite being a late-round selection. The Idaho product has made a name for himself on special teams but has also stepped in and made plays when asked. He had 17 tackles, three QB hits, and his first NFL sack in the 2021 season.
The hope is that New Orleans adds a backup linebacker in the draft but if they don’t, maybe they can bring back Kwon Alexander.
The Rest: Andrew Dowell
After appearing in one game as a rookie in 2020, Andrew Dowell worked his way up on the Saints’ depth chart and managed to appear in all but one game this past season. He had 15 tackles during that time and gives New Orleans a nice third-string option.
Dowell is it as far as depth behind the backups go and that’s not ideal. It does probably mean that the team will be targeting several linebackers in the draft unless they bring in a free agent or two before that happens.
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These five linebackers probably don’t get kicked off the roster but instead, we’ll see some new faces added to the group. How will that shake up the current depth? Will it push Baun and/or Elliss to the third-string part of the depth chart?