fortunately for the Saints, they already have two players on the roster that look to be well suited to the role in Martez Wilson and Junior Galette (who happens to be a restricted free agent). The defense should actually improve just by getting the two onto the field more, as both have shown an ability to get to the quarterback in situational roles. Each player ranked in the Top 15 in Pass Rushing Productivity among 4-3 ends who played at least 25% of their teams snaps, with Galette coming in as the fourth-most productive rusher. Of course, it remains to be seen whether the two can make the transition from situational rushers to full-time players at OLB, particularly in the case of Galette, who’s been used more traditionally as a defensive end than Wilson. Therefore, finding another edge rusher remains one of the Saints’ top needs this offseason.
Malcolm Jenkins and Roman Harper finished as our two lowest-graded at the position. After leading the team in sacks in 2011, Harper transitioned to a deeper, more traditional safety role this season under Spagnuolo, which wasn’t the smartest move considering he’s shown little ability in coverage during his career. Jenkins, in his third season at the position, didn’t show much more in coverage and particularly struggled to finish plays — his 20 missed tackles were two short of the league-high, even though he missed the final three games.
It will be interesting to see how the two fit into the plans of whomever the team hires as defensive coordinator, but don’t be surprised if Harper becomes a cap casualty. Either way, the team definitely needs to look at upgrading a position that’s supposed to be the ‘safety-net’ of the defense, but when manned by Jenkins and Harper, sure doesn’t make you feel very safe. more
They mention S Glover Quin as an affordable potential UFA acquisition. Any of you seeing the Texans more have a read on him?