Kiko Alonso and Alex Anzalone are coming off serious injuries while Demario
Davis is in a contract year. The Saints don't have a lot of draft picks, but
they likely need to add a few linebackers.
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The Saints have a solid starting tandem in Marshon Lattimore and Janoris
Jenkins, with Patrick Robinson in the slot. Jenkins is 31 and the team
recently extended his deal by two years. Robinson, 32, has two years left on
his deal. TCU's Jeff Gladney could be an option at No. 24.
Drew Brees agreed to a two-year deal but is taking his playing future one year
at a time. Coach Sean Payton believes Taysom Hill has all the makings of a
starting NFL QB, but Hill will be 30 by the time the season starts and never
has played a full season under center at this level.
Tight end
Jared Cook (43) and Josh Hill (25) combined for 68 receptions and 12 TDs last
season. Cook is 33 and in a contract year while Hill turns 30 in May. Depth
behind them is extremely thin and Brees relies heavily on his tight ends.
The Saints bolstered the secondary by bringing back Malcolm Jenkins and
re-signing D.J. Swearinger for depth. Free safety Marcus Williams is entering
a contract year and the only young depth to develop on the roster is 2019
fourth-round pick Chauncey Gardner-Johnson.
Wide receiver
Emmanuel Sanders was an excellent pickup to pair with Michael Thomas. More
help is needed. After Thomas' 149 catches, the top returning wideout on the
roster is Tre'Quan Smith with 18 receptions, although five of them were for
No team has procured more star power from the draft than the Saints, who found
four elite players in a span of two years, including three -- Marshon
Lattimore, Ryan Ramczyk and Alvin Kamara -- in 2017 alone. That class is an
all-timer, with another great player in Marcus Williams and contributors in
injury-prone Alex Anzalone and Trey Hendrickson. Another theme is finding
quality players in small classes, including 2016 (five picks, four starters)
and 2019 (five picks, two major contributors already). The last pieces of the
2015 class could walk in free agency, and the 2018 class is already thinning
out, but Marcus Davenport looks like a hit. The elite talent pushes this over
the edge.
Best pick: WR Michael Thomas, R2 2016 -- This could be Alvin Kamara or a few
others, but Thomas has been historically great from the jump.
Worst pick: LB Stephone Anthony, R1 2015 -- After starting all 16 games as a
rookie, quickly fell out of favor and was shipped to Miami. Now back as a
Saints special teamer.
TOTAL OFFENSE: 373.9 (9th)
RUSHING: 108.6 (16th)
PASSING: 265.3 (7th)
TOTAL DEFENSE: 333.1 (11th)
RUSHING: 91.3 (4th)
PASSING: 241.8 (20th)
--Field Level Media
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