NFL

Saints’ Trey Hendrickson Is a Breakout Name to Know This Fall

Trey Hendrickson answered the question of what happens when an owl encounters a goat.

Hendrickson, a fourth-year defensive end for the Saints, enjoyed a strong Week 1 against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Hendrickson, an ex-Florida Atlantic Owl, bullied Buccaneers offensive lineman Donovan Smith and beat Brady into the ground.

The impressive performance should be a sign of things to come for Hendrickson, who could be a breakout player for the New Orleans Saints this fall.

Trey Hendrickson quietly had a strong 2019 season

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A third-round pick of the New Orleans Saints in 2017, Trey Hendrickson usually played well when healthy and given a chance.

Hendrickson had two sacks and a forced fumble in 12 games off the bench as a rookie but battled injuries as a sophomore. Healthy most of last year, Hendrickson had 4.5 sacks, four tackles for loss, and a forced fumble in 13 games (three starts) last year.

Hendrickson added a sack of Kirk Cousins and two tackles for loss in the Saints’ NFC wild-card loss to the Vikings.

A reliable special teams player, Hendrickson played on a career-high 24% of the Saints’ special teams snaps last year.

Hendrickson had a terrific opener against the Buccaneers

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With teammate Marcus Davenport battling an elbow injury, Trey Hendrickson joined the Saints’ starting lineup in Week 1.

That proved to be the right decision. Hendrickson dominated Buccaneers offensive lineman Donovan Smith in the first half and crushed Tom Brady into the turf on a sack.

Nicknamed the “T-Rex,” Hendrickson finished with four tackles, two hits on Brady, a tackle for loss, and the sack.

The Saints’ disruptive defense sacked Brady three times and forced him into two interceptions. New Orleans won, 34-23, in a much-anticipated battle between Brady and Drew Brees.

Trey Hendrickson is a breakout name to know this fall

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Marcus Davenport’s injury could keep him out of action indefinitely, and Trey Hendrickson is in a contract year.

Those two facts alone would make Hendrickson a viable breakout candidate. But his impressive Week 1 outing adds even more incentive to buy high on Hendrickson’s stock.

According to the Saints’ official website, Hendrickson credited Davenport and All-Pro pass-rusher Cam Jordan for helping him develop into the player he is now.

“Rushing with those guys, you pick up a lot and you just start seeing things and learning. Talking to Cam and Marcus about this set, that set, you pick up a lot and I think, as a group, we are rolling. Like I said, it’s a special room. So, I am excited for this season and to get after it.”

The Saints’ next three games include a road trip to Las Vegas, a home showdown with Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers on Sunday Night Football, and a Week 4 visit to Detroit.

There is no expected timetable for Davenport’s return. Even when he does return, fans should expect Hendrickson to create pressure in the trenches and help the Saints keep winning.

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