Aug 9, 2012; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) is hit by New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith (91) during the first quarter of the preseason game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-US PRESSWIRE
In the past couple of years, anybody that has kept up with Saints football can say that the defensive line has been the most disappointing and under performing part of the team. This offseason, the Saints brought in Steve Spagnuolo to be the new defensive coordinator in an effort to change that. His schemes mainly rely on getting a pass rush from the edge so hopefully that continues to hold true.
There are currently seven defensive ends on the Saints preseason squad. Veteran defensive end Will Smith will be serving a four-game suspension to start the season, so a good replacement will need to be found for that period of time.
Make the jump below to see which defensive ends I have predicted to make the final roster. Stop by the comment section afterwards and post your thoughts.
These guys are pretty much going to be the main defensive end rotation. Will Smith generally would start at one side, but he must serve a four-game suspension first. Until then, Turk McBride is expected to be his replacement.
Opposite McBride will be second year player Cameron Jordan. Last season, Jordan participated in all 16 games and had 31 combined tackles and one sack. He definitely will need to step up his production for next season.
Junior Galette is the speedy defensive end on the team. Although he did have fewer tackles than Cam Jordan with 19, Junior had 4.5 sacks.
Martez Wilson is one of the more highly anticipated players on the Saints roster. Over the offseason, Martez underwent a position change. He moved from the linebacker position to defensive end. Even with this adjustment, he still has had an impressive preseason. So far, Martez leads the team with 1.5 sacks and two tackles for a loss.
On the Bubble
Donavan Robinson, the undrafted rookie out of Jackson State, has better statistics of the two. In his collegiate career, Robinson had 181 total tackles and 30 sacks. In his senior year, he had 58 tackles, 23.5 of which were for a loss, and 16 sacks. Even though he attended a smaller school, that is still impressive.
Braylon Broughton looks to be the more "experimental prospect." Listed at 6' 6" and 272 pounds, this physical specimen has all the makings to be a successful defensive end in the NFL. Starting in only five games in his senior year, Braylon had twenty-five tackles and two sacks. If he keeps working hard under Spags, he could really flourish due to his monstrous size.