The New Orleans Saints have heavily invested into their defensive line and have high hopes that this will be the year that it all comes together. Between their top three edge rushers, they have spent four first round draft picks. The future Hall of Famer Cameron Jordan, the oft-scrutinized Marcus Davenport in a contract year, and highly anticipated 2021 first round selection Payton Turner make up the top of the rotation.
After practice on Thursday, Turner spoke to the media, telling our own Ross Jackson on what those three can do together, “We can do a lot. We’ve got really good players all across the defense, not just us three, but I think this defensive line could be very special this year if we can all stay out there and make some plays.”
The “if we all stay out there and make some plays” part of that statement is really the kicker here. No one doubts the talents of the three players, but both Davenport and Turner have had issues staying healthy early in their careers. In Davenport’s four seasons, he has never played in more than 13 games of a regular season, though he is coming off of career highs in sacks, tackles, tackles for a loss, and quarterback hits.
Turner is entering his sophomore season but had a rocky start. He played in just five games as a rookie, but he showed some great potential in his limited appearances. Those two staying healthy could be a key part in success during Dennis Allen’s first season as a head coach, and give the team some security in long-term planning with Jordan getting up there in years.