Brodrick Bunkley: A Gem

DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 17: Joe McKnight #25 of the New York Jets runs the ball against Brodrick Bunkley #77 of the Denver Broncos at Invesco Field at Mile High on November 17, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

The past week or so I have been exchanging emails with Emmett Smith, a writer for itsalloverfatman.com, a website that primarily covers the Denver Broncos. He contacted me about getting some information on Tracy Porter, and in return he gave me a little summary on the Saints newest big man, Brodrick Bunkley. Here is Emmett's view on Brodrick:

"Bunkley was one of the best run-stuffers in the league last year (top 5 by PFF's standards, which I trust on this), and Broncos fans are very disappointed to see him go. Granted, if you have to trade Bunkley for Manning you do it, but even so, you guys have an absolute gem in this guy. He won't get you sacks, he's solely a nose tackle and couldn't play under tackle for a bet, but you won't worry about the run through his gap and he'll push the pile and collapse the pocket, which lets your pass rushers do their thing more effectively. You're also going to love his effort - many big guys wear down at the end of games. He usually stepped it up. Enjoy, I'm still going to be watching out for him. Some guys just can't help but rooting for him. By the way, he did 44 reps on the 225 bench press and still moves well. Says it all."

If everything Emmett says about Brodrick is true, this could be one of the most underrated moves this NFL offseason. Last year, Rogers and Franklin were brought in to do the same thing, but seemed to lack what Brodrick may have: effort. The production we expected out of the mammoth linemen in Rogers and Franklin never materialized. They often registered only two tackles a game; a few times they didn't get any. Apparently the front office saw the same thing as us, as they have yet to attempt to re-sign them.

I am definitely excited to see Bunkley lined up in black and gold. My impression of him, having watched a little bit of film and getting Emmett's perspective, is that he could become a crucial cog in the Saints defense. Last year, the Saints weren't able to get pressure in the pocket at all. In turn, mediocre quarterbacks sliced and diced the Saints defense with all the time in the world. If Bunkley can come in and wreck havoc inside the tackle box and free up the Saints defensive ends, the pressure will come. He will also contribute in run defense as he is a stout, powerful man. If all of these impressions are in fact true, this defensive pickup will be a success.

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