Completely overshadowed by the negativity of punishments handed to the New Orleans Saints, Broderick Bunkley was a superb defensive signing to fill a glaring need. With Shaun Rogers and Aubrayo Franklin both free agents, the Saints were in desperate need of a run-stuffing defensive tackle. And fortunately for the Saints, Bunkley was available to fill that void. Bunkley was PFF’s highest graded DT in the league at defending the run (+28.4) as he consistently made his way into opposing backfields in the 2011 season.
In fact, Bunkley was so effective at stopping the run that he had the highest tackle-per-play percentage of any DT. This chart of DT’s ranked top ten in tackles should explain this a bit more clearly:
|% of Tackles per Play|
Essentially, Bunkley recorded the 8th most tackles among all DTs, despite participating in just the 45th most snaps. Over a full percentage higher than the closest player, Bunkley is clearly an incredibly efficient run defending defensive tackle.
With one of the most well-respected defensive minds in Steve Spagnuolo coaching Bunkley next season, expect his success to continue. If you’re in a deep IDP league and/or one that requires DTs, Bunkley deserves a look. At the very least, he could fill in nicely if you’re go-to guy has is on a bye week or will be facing an elite guard/center. With very limited DTs out there who are sure-fire fantasy studs, Bunkley could very well put up adequate numbers. Furthermore, his presence will command double teams, and his signing instantly provided a slight boost to the IDP value of guys like Will Smith, Cameron Jordan, Sedrick Ellis, and whoever plays MLB for the Saints in 2012.