Below is an overview of the New Orleans Saints 2010 defensive line. The line consistently applied pressure on opposing quarterbacks in 2009, also recovering five fumbles. The ends are led by Will Smith, who finished with a career-high 13 sacks, ranked second in the NFC. Newcomer Alex Brown, Jeff Charleston and Bobby McCray round out the group. The interior of the line is manned by the trio of Remi Ayodele, Sedrick Ellis and Anthony Hargrove with DeMario Pressley and rookie Al Woods competing for time in the rotation. Free agent pickup Jimmy Wilkerson rounds out the group, possessing the versatility to play both on the inside and outside.
DEFENSIVE LINE (13) - Returners: DT Remi Ayodele, DE Jeff Charleston, DT Sedrick Ellis, DL Anthony Hargrove, DT Earl Heyman, DE Bobby McCray, DT DeMario Pressley, DE Will Smith. Offseason veteran additions: DE Alex Brown (FA), DL Jimmy Wilkerson (UFA-TB). Draft choices/Rookie free agents: DT Al Woods (D-4), DE Junior Galette (FA), DT Jay Ross (FA). Departures from 2009: DT Kendrick Clancy, DE Charles Grant, DT Rodney Leisle, DE Paul Spicer. WORTH NOTING: Smith is coming off his finest season, where he finished second in the NFC with 15 sacks. McCray and newcomer Brown are both Florida alums that will play key roles in the defensive line rotation. Ellis, the club's first round draft choice in 2008, anchors the line's interior, providing both interior pressure as well as effectively stopping the run. Ayodele mans the nose position following his first year as a full-time starter. Charleston is a high-energy key reserve who is also an asset on special teams. Hargrove and Wilkerson both possess the abilities to play both end or tackle. Hargrove, enjoyed a resurgent campaign, making five sacks and three fumble recoveries. Wilkerson, an offseason free agent acquisition, recorded career-highs with 66 tackles, six sacks and three forced fumbles in Tampa Bay last season. Woods, an Elton native and the club's fourth round draft choice, will seek to crack the club's interior rotation, following a productive career at LSU. Gallete and Ross are undrafted free agents who will seek to earn roster spots at end and tackle respectively.