>\n\nWorst to First: 32. New Orleans Saints \n\n\n\n

Worst to First: 32. New Orleans Saints

Written by Ben Morgan on 04/22/2010

And so we get to our last report, and not before time... Ladies & Gentlemen I give you the current Superbowl Champs, the New Orleans Saints. With their naggingly accurate enigma of a Quarterback, Drew Brees. Why an enigma? Well there's not many franchise QBs who've come out of a shotgun based college offense and are barely 6' tall. And yet what, he can complete 70% of his passes? True he has a terriffic Offensive Line and some big play receivers, oh and the small matter of a great running game too. A QB couldn't ask for much more. Except a pay raise I guess! Anyway, we're not far away from the draft now so I'll quit the rambling and try to get myself some sleep. Enjoy the final write up.

See you for the draft!


2010 Free Agent Losses 2010 Free Agent Additions
Mike Bell RB (Eagles,RFA), Scott Fujita OLB (Browns,UFA)

Alex Brown DE (Bears,UFA-cut)

2010 Unsigned Free Agents 2011 Potential Free Agents
 Jammal Brown T (RFA), Mark Brunell QB (UFA), Dan Campbell TE (UFA), Kendrick Clancy NT (UFA), Darnell Dinkins TE (UFA), Kyle Eckel FB (RFA), Jahri Evans G (RFA), Charles Grant DE (UFA-cut), Roman Harper SS (RFA), Billy Miller TE (UFA), Lance Moore WR (RFA), Courtney Roby WR (RFA), Darren Sharper FS (UFA), Paul Spicer DE (UFA), Pierre Thomas RB (RFA)

Remi Ayodele DL (RFA), Jermon Bushrod OT (RFA), Jeff Charleston DL (RFA), JoLonn Dunbar DL (RFA), Heath Evans RB (UFA), Troy Evans LB (UFA), Jonathan Goodwin OG (UFA), Lynell Hamilton RB (RFA), Anthony Hargrove DL (UFA), Jason Kyle LB (UFA), Nick Leckey C (UFA), Rodney Leisle DL (RFA), Marvin Mitchell LB (RFA), Carl Nicks OG (RFA), Pierson Prioleau S (UFA), Chris Reis DB (RFA), Courtney Roby WR (UFA), Scott Shanle LB (UFA), Zach Strief OT (UFA), David Thomas TE (UFA), Leigh Torrance DB (UFA), Jimmy Wilkerson DL (UFA), Usama Young DB (RFA)

Quarterbacks Minimal Need
When you have a Super accurate, Superbowl winning Quarterback you're not likely to be needing much in the draft. But with no option underneath Brees other than Chase Daniel they do need someone. And like Indianapolis, New Orleans would be a great landing spot for Tim Tebow, though Drew Brees is a couple of years younger than Peyton Manning. But, like The Colts, they have a terriffic QB already in place and time to bring someone through. Which Tebow would need. But also like Indianapolis, it's a pretty unlikley move (though I must admit I would love to see what the Saints could do with Tebow and Bush running some Wildcat/option plays). In fact as far as I'm aware the Saints have shown no interest in Tebow so it's purely speculation on my part. More likely they'll want to find some veteran backup to Brees and maybe bring in a late rounder or undrafted type to compete for the 3rd slot with Daniel.

Runningbacks Minor Need
With the loss of Mike Bell the Saints should be on the lookout for a big thumping RB to run with Pierre Thomas. As a Thomas Dynasty League owner I wish they'd give him 300 carries a season but it seems more than likely they'll only want him taking 200 or so carries and that should leave a good 150 or more carries for someone who's probably not on the roster. Reggie Bush will have to make do with the 3rd down role. Anyone want to pick him over Mario Williams now? Anyway, back to the draft. That big back to replace Bell? I'll chuck a few possible names out, Anthony Dixon, Toby Gerhart or Jonathan Dwyer if they're thinking inside the first 3 rounds. Maybe LeGarrette Blount if they fancy the risk?

Wide Receivers No Need
All 3 of Brees front line Receivers churning up 15 yard per catch averages or more. So there's plenty of big plays being spread around those guys. Robert Meachem hasn't lived up to his draft spot but showed signs of finally getting it last year. He's probably still 3rd under Marques Colston and Devery Henderson but that's a nice threesome and they have a couple of players underneath capable of filling in as well. Lance Moore in particular. With none of the top 3 guys out of contract until 2012 there's no real draft need here. Any pick on a WR would be a luxury pick. But with a stacked roster the Saints can afford some of them this year. 

Tight Ends Minimal Need
Between David Thomas and Jeremy Shockey (and his injuries) the Saints have the guys to put up one top TE's production over the course of a season. Shockey's always going to get hurt, he's just that sort of player and with Thomas a free agent next year TE could, I guess, be something they look at if the top guys fall to the end of round 1. But Jermaine Gresham has had enough injury issues of his own so I would doubt they'd potentiall part ways with Shockey for someone with the same sort of problems. More likely they could look to stash a 3rd TE with a view to moving on from both Shockey and Thomas in 2011. With some good players potentially available in rounds 3 or 4, well, it's a possible anyway. It's a Minimal Need at the moment.

Offensive Line Minimal Need
New Orleans sports one of the best Offensive Linesin football. And one of the most versatile. Most good run blocking teams don't pass block so well and vice versa. But the Saints do a great job in both. And it's mostly built around mid to late round draft picks on the OL. In fact, so well off are the Saints on the Offensive Line that they can look at trading a LT. Rumour is Jammal Brown is on the block thanks to the play last year of Jermon Bushrod. The Saints are young and deep here. Not much need except to guard against a free potential free agents next year.

Defensive Tackles Major Need
The Saints could definitely use a big upgrade to it's run defense this offseason. Giving up 4.5 yards per carry shouldn't get you to a Superbowl Victory. Sedrick Ellis is a former first round selection (and an early one) but Remi Ayodele would be better off as part of a rotation I think. The big run stuffing NT type might be unusual for New Orleans but could Terrence Cody be an option at #32? He could instantly and dramatically upgrade that run defense and force teams to pass. Which as we all know, is dangerous against a play making Saints secondary. You've got to call this a Major Need, at the moment their best run defense tactic is getting up on the scoreboard early, forcing opponents to pass. Jared Odrick could be an option too.

Defensive Ends Minor Need
The signing of Alex Brown helps to offset a big hole opposite Will Smith. Brown's not exactly a spring chicken though and the Saints could definitely use another pass rusher to rotate in and out and eventually replace Brown.Jimmy Wilkerson should bring some ability across the line as well but were one of the main 4-3 ends in this draft (Jason Pierre-Paul, Brandon Graham, Derrick Morgan) to drop to the end of the round, that would be a good pick up as well. But with 2 starters in place and a few maybe options under them this is Minor Need at worst.

Linebackers Major Need
With only the Middle Linebacker spot definitely solid (Jonathan Vilma) there's a big need at LB for the Saints. Scott Fujita's headed off to the Browns and the run defense wasn't great in the first place. If Sean Weatherspoon somehow made it to #32 he'd be a bit of a no brainer pick. Scott Shanle is decent but could be improved upon. Stanley Arnoux should come into camp healthy too. He lost his rookie year to an Achilles injury. Daryl Washington could even be an option at the end of round 1, but he's more likely a round 2 player.

Cornerbacks Minimal Need
With Jabari Greer, Randall Gay, Tracey Porter and last year's first round pick Malcolm Jenkins currently 4th on the depth chart. This is a position of real strength for the Saints. It might get diminished some if Jenkins is asked to play Safety this year though. Even so there'd be 3 decent to very good CBs. Cornerback is always a popular pick though so don't rule it out, especially if they do view Jenkins as a Free Safety going forward.

Safeties Major Need
Darren Sharper's free agency has left a massive hole to fill but he may still be back of course. We won't know that until after the draft which suggests the Saints might be keen to see what they can get in the draft first. They won't be in the shakedown for the top 2 Safeties but Taylor Mays may be there for them. The problem with Mays being he's very likely to be a Strong Safety only in the NFL and the Saints already have a very good Strong Safety in Roman Harper. Mays could even potentially be a weakside LB in the NFL though, another position the Saints need someone. Mays is boom/bust in a big way but you could probably make a good argument for him being best player available this time tomorrow. Having the fall back of using him at Linebacker could reduce some of that bust potential. They may find a better free safety option at the end of round 2 though. This is a Major Need until we know what's happening with Darren Sharper.

Specialists No Need
Garrett Hartley really nailed down the Kickers spot in the late part of the season and the playoffs. He'll be back in 2010 as the unquestioned starter. Thomas Morstead wasn't spectacular but you don't draft a punter in the th round to quit on him after a year.

Return Game No Need
Courtney Roby was pretty terriffic on kick returns but Reggie Bush waited til the playoffs to show something on punt returns. He'll need to do more of that to justify that colossal salary this season. But I guess he'll get the job and there'll be little need in the draft

Dream Day One
 1.32 Sean Weatherspoon LB Missouri
2.64 Linval Joseph DT East Carolina
Player Visits
Eric Olsen C Notre Dame
Sean Weatherspoon LB Missouri
Daryl Washington LB TCU
Chris Cook DB Virginia
Thaddeus Gibson DE/LB Ohio State
Junior Galette DE/LB Stillman
Eric Norwood DE/LB South Carolina
Pat Angerer LB Iowa
Jared Odrick DE/DT Penn State
Brian Price DT UCLA
Torrell Troup DT UCF
Mickey Shuler TE Penn State
Jeremy Williams WR Tulane


Last Edited: 04/14/2010

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