Comparing Khalen Saunders, Nathan Shepherd to the Saints, they replace

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Age: 26

Experience: 38 games in 4 years (plus 6 playoff games)

Height: 6-foot-0

Weight: 324 pounds

Relative Athletic Score: 7.59

2022 defensive snaps: 511 (39.5% vs. run, 58.7% vs. pass), 26.9 snaps per

PFF run defense grade: 55.8

PFF pass rush grade: 57.2

PFF pass rush win rate (PR productivity): 6.7 (4.0)

PFF average tackle depth vs. race: 3.1

Contract: Three years, $14.5 million ($4.8 million per year), guaranteed TBD

Saunders played a small role for the Chiefs through his first three years, posting career highs in defensive snaps (511), quarterback pressures (18), tackles (30) and PFF defensive stops (22) last season. He’s a steady player who offers more against the run than against the pass, so it’s strange to see Kansas City play him on so many passes last year. The Saints can dictate it better by adding more depth to the line and carefully rotating him on and off the field. But Saunders is a big athlete for his size and should do a lot to help the New Orleans defense win on the field. He creates a lot of hustle and was surprisingly effective in corralling mobile quarterbacks looking to make plays outside the pocket.

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