During his 12 years in the NFL, Darryl Tapp has learned the importance of being versatile.
He’s played defensive end, outside linebacker and has been a regular on special teams units while playing for five different teams.
In 2014, Tapp played a new position at times while with the Detroit Lions. After Nick Fairley suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 8 that season, Tapp began to play a little defensive tackle.
And during minicamp with the New Orleans Saints last week, Tapp lined up at defensive tackle for a few team drills as he tries to provide another way to help the team.
“The more things you can do to make yourself valuable to a team, the better off you are,” Tapp said last week.
Obviously, if Tapp were to help the Saints on the defensive interior this year, there would be clear parallels to the time he did so with the Lions. Like Tapp, Fairley is entering his second season in New Orleans, but his future is in jeopardy due to a heart issue.
If Fairley can’t play this season, the Saints would have to look at all available options to help fill the void.
Sheldon Rankins, Tyeler Davison and David Onyemata would be the top defensive tackles if Fairley misses time, but behind them, the Saints will need at least one more player to be part of the rotation.
Ashaad Mabry has the most experience in this defensive scheme having spent the past two years on the practice squad. Justin Zimmer was also with the practice squad briefly last year. Veteran Tony McDaniel signed after a tryout during minicamp, and Devaroe Lawrence will try to make the team as an undrafted rookie.
With Fairley sidelined and Davison and…
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