CSC – Why the New Orleans Saints Could Win it All, Part VI:
Defensive Line – (CSC)
The Saints paid a hefty price for a pass
To see previous Parts, click
did the best they could to keep a healthy defensive line on the
field in 2017. They lost Nick
Fairley at DT before the season started. They signed
Okafor to play defensive end, but they lost him to a torn
Achilles in an overtime win against the Washington
Redskins. The Saints also lost 2017 NFL Draft
Hendrickson early in the season. To start 2017, some
combination of Hendrickson and Okafor were expected to be the
pass-rusher opposite Cam Jordan. Instead, the Saints were forced to
rely on players like George
Johnson to fill that void.
The biggest reason the Saints
defensive line should be improved in 2018 starts and ends with 1st
Round Pick Marcus Davenport. After selecting the UTSA DE with the
14th overall pick, the Saints hope to finally have that elite pass
rusher opposite Cam Jordan for the first time since
Davenport isn’t the only player who should help the Saints
defensive line in 2018. The Saints also re-signed Alex Okafor, who
was on his way to a career year in New Orleans before his injury.
The Saints also should have a healthy Trey Hendrickson in 2018 and
can look for continued growth from young players like Rankins,
Onyemata, and Davison.
And with mutual growth from the secondary
(spoiler alert), the defensive line should have an extra half
second to wreak havoc on opposing QBs.