Much like the Offensive Line, the Defensive Line was just too much to analyze before pads and some preseason looks. But now I think we’re getting a clearer picture. Whomever this, what’s his name, Cameron Jordan is, well he’ll never make it in the NFL. Jokes folks. Even with a departed Okafor (d’oh!), a one game suspended Onyemata (d’oh d’oh!), and a Rankins who’s still recovering from a nasty ACL tear (d’oh d’oh d’oh!!), we have a pretty good idea of what the Saints are looking at here on the line. Put your toes in the water to see the temp is just right. Let’s dive in!
Well let’s start off with the great news!! Sheldon Rankins was activated off of the PUP list. The short story is that he will be ready before week 6, but not week 1, and he is now counting as a roster spot. That’s important to know come cut time this Saturday.
Although Davenport hasn’t been even remotely exciting during preseason, don’t be fooled. He’s got that end spot on lockdown opposite of Cam. Now despite the Onyemata suspension and the Rankins injury, I think these are our 4 starters generally on the D line. But who’s likely to fill in and back up the Fantastic 4? Oh I’m glad you asked! Because…
We lost Okafor in the offseason to the Chiefs. Giant bummer. But Trey Hendrickson has been finally stepping up his game and getting a lot of coaches’ praises, so maybe that’s why they were willing to let Okafor walk. Except that they brought in Mario Edwards, and to a lesser degree, Geneo Grissom et al, as insurance. Malcolm Brown is another who was brought in to aid the depleted Tackle spot, especially considering the week 1 situation. Taylor Stallworth and Shy Tuttle have made some waves during camp and 4th quarters of preseason as well, so they’re worth mention here.
WHO MAKES THE CUT?:
All of that said, it looks like some tough cuts are coming here for the defensive line, which mostly sucks because we will lose some developmental talent, not necessarily any QB nor offensive linemen destroyers. Like the Offensive Line for the Saints, the number varies a little throughout a given season on how many men they will carry on the line week-to-week. But the Saints’ Defensive Line options are certainly less dicey than the O line, but at the same time, a lot of seemingly mediocre players to decide over. My projected 53 man roster is coming soon! (Very soon!) Cheers, Who Dats!
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