Defensive lineman Trey Hendrickson featured as a rotational piece to the New Orleans Saints defense his first three years in the league. In 2020, his production has skyrocketed. Already equalling his career-best of 4.5 sacks. Just five games into the season. The progress of Trey Henderickson has been a massive boost for the Saints defense.
Trey Hendrickson New Orleans Saints Draft Pedigree
Hendrickson was picked in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft. The team had just missed the playoffs for the third straight season and the defense was once again among the worst in the league.
Coming out of Florida Atlantic, Hendrickson was selected for his high motor and stout run defense. His pash rushing ability was noticeable at the 2017 East-West shrine game where he won defensive player of the game. However, given the level of competition he faced playing for Florida Atlantic, his pass rush technique was not considered polished enough to warrant a higher selection.
Hendrickson flashed in spots his rookie year, sacking quarterback Cam Newton twice in a victory over the Carolina Panthers. Those were the only two sacks of his rookie season. A quiet 2018 season followed and Hendrickson failed to register a sack in the five games he played.
However, signs of Trey Hendrickson’s development were apparent during the 2019 season. In limited playing time as a rotational defensive lineman, Hendrickson registered a career-high 4.5 sacks in 2019. Including two sacks in the team’s season opener on Monday Night Football.
Trey Hendrickson Progressing Well as Part of Saints Defense
Trey Hendrickson’s progress is a bonus for New Orleans and the former third-round selection. In a contract year, Hendrickson has added consistency to his pass rush and seized the opportunity of more playing time. Rewarding the Saints coaching staff’s faith with his performances and a team-leading 4.5 sacks.
His 1.5 sacks on Monday Night Football in a Week 5 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers were crucial to the team’s success. New Orleans struggled to contain Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert most of the night. However, the defensive line led by Hendrickson took over parts of the game to limit the damage caused by Herbert, and come out with the victory.
The production of the Saints defensive line as a unit is just above league average. Cameron Jordan is the most dangerous lineman the Saints have and the unquestioned starter on the New Orleans defensive line. His 2020 production has slipped because Jordan is often double-teamed on passing downs and offenses are aware of the threat he poses. The attention Jordan receives has given one-on-one opportunities for his teammates to make big plays.
So far, Hendrickson has taken advantage of his opportunities to lead the team in sacks through five games. His efforts and determination to improve have yielded results.
New Orleans Saints Defensive Line Super Bowl-Ready
New Orleans needs more linemen to step up if they are to make a Super Bowl run in February. Cameron Jordan has been a Top-5 player at his position for several seasons. The first half of his career, he had very little help.
Hendrickson has made good progress playing alongside the first-round talent of Sheldon Rankins and Marcus Davenport. In addition, consider the depth David Onyemata and Shy Tuttle provide. Clearly, this unit is ready to make a postseason run on paper.
The Saints are running out of time to earn their franchise legend quarterback Drew Brees another Super Bowl ring. They have to make the talent they have on paper, count on the field.