Projected Starters – John Abraham, Jonathon Babineaux, Peria Jerry, Jamaal Anderson.
Most have left Anderson for dead after an underwhelming first two seasons as a top-10 pick, but I like the progress I’ve seen in 2008 and think 2009 will be even better for JA98. He doesn’t need to be a 10+ sack guy opposite Abraham to succeed in this defense and be a force. He’s above-average as a run-stopper and will get pressures and hurries on the quarterback in the natural flow with Abraham on the other side. Babineaux is undersized as a run-stopping defensive tackle, but is very active. Jerry should be a day one starter and get more snaps than any of the rotation guys in the middle.
Projected Role Players – Kroy Biermann, Chauncey Davis, Trey Lewis, Lawrence Sidbury.
While the defense underperformed in 2008 and was the weak link to the team, the real positive was giving guys like Davis and Biermann a lot of snaps under their respective belts. Each can spell on the line and be productive. Trey Lewis has had a buzz about him but has yet to get into a season healthy, so he’s a rookie still because he’s yet to show what he can do on Sundays. Sidbury can be a solid spark with his speed off the edge in passing situations.