News & Analysis

Okafor a candidate to start at defensive end for Saints

GLENDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 13: Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers is sacked by Alex Okafor #57 of the Arizona Cardinals during the third quarter at University of Phoenix Stadium on November 13, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. Cardinals won 23-20. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

  • New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen named Alex Okafor as a candidate to start opposite Cam Jordan at defensive end this season.
  • Allen noted that, when healthy, Okafor has been “an influence on the pass rush,” ranking fourth in pass-rush productivity among 3-4 OLBs last year.
  • Okafor has seen his overall PFF grade steadily increase during his time in Arizona, reaching a career-high 72.5 last season.
  • Okafor has shown the most promise as a pass-rusher, with healthy PRP scores of 9.4 and 9.5 in 2014 and 2015, respectively.
  • He will face competition from third-round pick Trey Hendrickson, who ranked first in the nation with a PRP of 20.3, racking up 77 pressures for Florida Atlantic last season.
  • Also in the mix will be the returning Obum Gwacham and Hau’oli Kikaha, who combined for 31 pressures as rookies in 2015 before both missed the entire 2016 season with injuries.

Alex Okafor

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