Camp Battles ’10: Defensive Line
The defensive line is arguably one of the deepest positions on the team’s roster in terms of experience. Largely due to the fact that the team employs a heavy rotation on most Sundays last season.
The return of Peria Jerry could cause a minor shakeup here. His injury last season caused the team to start using Jamaal Anderson more as an interior player. But if he has a healthy return, then Anderson’s versatility is less valued. Couple that with the possibility that Anderson could lose his starting left end spot to Kroy Biermann this summer via competition, and his hold on a roster spot is tenuous.
We do know that John Abraham, Jonathan Babineaux, Kroy Biermann, and Peria Jerry seem to be locks to make the roster. But the guys that fill the remaining four or five slots remains to be seen. Lawrence Sidbury and Corey Peters are likely to be two of those players. How strong a summer Sidbury has could go a long way to how much success the team’s pass rush has in 2010. Peters’ status as a draft pick gives him good odds to making the final roster. But he’s not a lock since Thomas Johnson, Vance Walker, and Dan Klecko may also be breathing down his neck. Of that group, Walker probably stands the best chance to earn the top reserve defensive tackle spot. His play improved as last season wore on coupled with his youth gives him the best long-term potential of any backup tackle besides Peters.
Chauncey Davis is a steady performer on running downs, but the team may find it hard to justify keeping him around if Anderson is kept, and Sidbury improves. But his value as a run defender could become more pronounced if Biermann and Sidbury don’t show enough improvement in that area to be every down players.
Trey Lewis will also be in the mix inside. But he struggled throughout the 2009 season, and unless he has a major resurgence and shows the skill and potential he flashed in 2007, he seems like a roster long shot. Rajon Henley and Emmanuel Stephens are undrafted ends who can earn a practice squad position if they can show some burst and speed off the edge as pass rushers.