Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Like the inside linebacker position, the Saints have experienced starters returning at the outside 'backer spot.
Junior Galette tops the depth chart, and he’ll be looking to follow up on his 12-sack breakout season from a year ago. The 258-pounder proved difficult to corral as an edge-rusher, and his emergence provided an ideal complement in the pass-rushing department to end Cameron Jordan.
At the other slot on the outside, Victor Butler will try to fend off Parys Haralson for the starting position. Butler signed as a free agent in 2013 but missed the entire season with a knee injury.
The Saints replaced him in the preseason by trading for Haralson, whose play was steady enough for New Orleans to re-sign him to a one-year deal.
Butler is likely to emerge as the starter, but Haralson is a proven contributor in Ryan’s defense, and he’ll receive plenty of playing time as a backup to both Galette and Butler.
Next in line on the outside, for now, is seventh-year pro Keyunta Dawson, who was added to the roster in Week 6 of the 2013 season.
It will be difficult, however, for the Saints to keep 2014 fifth-round draft choice Ronald Powell from seeing the field. The former Florida Gator brings explosive pass-rushing capabilities to the table, and it may not take long for New Orleans to begin working him into the rotation as a situational pass-rusher.
Also competing for roster spots in camp will be second-year pro Rufus Johnson, third-year man Cheta Ozougwu and undrafted rookies Kasim Edebali and Chidera Uzo-Diribe.