USA Today

Where can the Saints upgrade in the off-season?

Kristian Garic
February 21, 2019 - 5:42 pm

The Saints roster is stacked at key positions, but could use some help in order to propel them to another Super Bowl in 2019.  Here is a look at some positions the Saints will likely explore in free agency and the draft.

Tight End:  Josh Hill is a good player but he’s not elite.  The Saints desperately need a pass catching threat at Tight End to compliment Mike Thomas outside.  The production from the Tight End position has been putrid since the Saints traded Jimmy Graham in 2015. The draft is loaded with tight ends that could fit the Saints offensive needs.  “That is a must, the Saints have to find a tight end this off-season.  It would take pressure off Mike Thomas and open up the middle of the field,” explained the Cajun Cannon Bobby Hebert.

Wide Receiver:  Mike Thomas as we know was an absolute machine this year catching 125 passes, but that’s about all the production the Saints had at WR in 2018.  Tre’Quan Smith, Austin Carr, Cam Meridith, and Tedd Ginn Jr didn’t yield much in terms of production.  Ginn Jr. missed 10 games before returning during the post season.  “I would say finding a slot receiver is a big priority for the Saints.  Just like adding a tight end, a slot receiver would take attention off Thomas and allow the offense to get back to being a top five passing offense,” said Hebert.  The Saints finished the season as the 12th best passing offense.

Defensive back:  Safety and Cornerback are positions that need help.  Marcus Williams took a step back from his rookie season.  Marshon Lattimore started off the season a little slow.  P.J Williams is a free agent that is likely gone.  Eli Apple was acquired in a mid-season trade and had mixed results.  In today’s pass happy NFL you can always be in the market for another defensive back that can cover.  Safety Vonn Bell was the best cover safety the Saints had this season.  “The passing defense ended up being the weak link on an otherwise improved Saints defense.  That was the fatal flaw for the Saints in the post-season,” added Hebert.

Defensive line:  Sheldon Rankins tore his Achilles tendon in the divisional round playoff win over the Eagles.  That is a tough injury to recover from for anyone let alone a big guy in the trenches.  Tyeler Davison is scheduled to become a free agent.  I don’t think he will leave, but you never know.  The Saints are thin at defensive tackle “Without a doubt that’s an area or position the Saints need some help in just because you don’t know long it’s going to take Rankins to come back from that injury,” Hebert said.  Plus, David Onyemata had a court summons for possession of marijuana earlier this month, and it’s yet to be determined if he’s going to face any discipline from the team or league.

Edge Rusher:  Every team is always on the lookout for an edge rusher every season.  Sure, the Saints traded up for Marcus Davenport last April in the draft.  They also have all pro defensive end Cameron Jordan, but the game is about who can affect the other teams quarterback.  “Two things matter in the NFL. How can you protect your quarterback, and how you can impact the other teams quarterback?  That’s why edge rushers are so coveted in the NFL,” Hebert said.

Quarterback:  Drew Brees is in the final year of his contract and perhaps in his final season with the Saints.  Now is the time for the Saints to find the heir apparent to Brees.  That could be in free agency or the draft.  Teddy Bridgewater could be that guy, but also could command too much money on the open market in free agency. 

Comments ()