POSITION: Defensive end
Years in the NFL: 1
Acquired: Undrafted free agent, 2014
College: Boston College
Highlights: Edebali, a native of Hamburg, Germany, made the Saints’ opening 53-man roster last season and stayed there, playing in all 16 games as a rookie. Edebali finished with 18 tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble recovery, but he offered a glimpse of brilliance with four tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble in the Saints’ win over Green Bay.
Strengths: Edebali has a quick first step, exploding off the ball and putting tackles off-balance with his speed. Once he engages, Edebali has violent hands, shocking the tackle as he makes contact. Even more importantly, Edebali’s hands allow him to dictate where he’s headed next, and he gathers well, allowing him to close down on a quarterback stepping up in the pocket.
Must continue to: Make plays in one-on-one pass rush drills and team settings. On Sunday morning, Edebali beat Bryce Harris in a one-on-one setting badly, spinning the backup tackle around and to the ground, and then he beat rookie Andrus Peat for a sack in team drills, getting to the corner and turning the edge to the quarterback. Edebali also has to show he can hold up in the run game; the Saints need production out of the weak side end.
Projection: Two weeks ago, Edebali might have opened camp in a battle to make the roster, but the release of Junior Galette and a strong opening from Edebali might be moving the young pass rusher into contention for a different role. Edebali plays the Jack, the spot Galette played and a spot that Cam Jordan has taken over now. That being said, Edebali could evolve into Jordan’s backup on running downs and compete with both Anthony Spencer and Hau’oli Kikaha for the right to line up opposite Jordan as the other edge rusher in passing situations. Out of those three, Edebali’s clearly off to the fastest start in training camp. If he earns a key role, Edebali could be in for a breakout season.
Joel A. Erickson
OUT: LB Dannell Ellerbe (hip), OLB Davis Tull (shoulder), S Jairus Byrd (undisclosed), G Mike McGlynn (undisclosed), OLB Anthony Spencer (undisclosed), TE Kevin Brock (undisclosed), CB Brian Dixon (undisclosed), DT Glenn Foster (undisclosed), LS Justin Drescher (undisclosed).
LIMITED: WR Marques Colston (undisclosed)
Next three up
MONday: 7:30 a.m.-10:50 a.m.; 3:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m.
TUESday: New Orleans takes its first day off of training camp.
WEDNESday: 7:30 a.m.-10:50 a.m.; 3:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m.