2018 New Orleans Saints Depth Chart
|Quarterback||Drew Brees||Teddy Bridgewater||Taysom Hill|
|Running Back||Alvin Kamara||Mark Ingram||Mike Gillislee|
|Left Wide Receiver||Michael Thomas||Austin Carr|
|Right Wide Receiver||Tre'Quan Smith||Tommylee Lewis|
|Tight End||Benjamin Watson||Josh Hill||Dan Arnold|
|Full Back||Zach Line|
|Left Tackle||Terron Armstead||Jermon Bushrod||Nate Wozniak|
|Left Guard||Andrus Peat||Will Clapp|
|Center||Max Unger||Cameron Tom|
|Right Guard||Larry Warford||Michael Ola|
|Right Tackle||Ryan Ramczyk||Rick Leonard|
The Saints were afforded the luxury of having two Rookie of the Year contenders on their roster last season. The addition of Alvin Kamara and Marshon Lattimore made a lasting impression on the franchise. Kamara would go on to lead the league in scoring for a rookie, finding the end zone in both rushing and pass-catching situations. Marshon Lattimore was an instrumental piece in making this defense relevant once again. The secondary has struggled against the pass, which is something Lattimore helped crack down on in 2017. He was the team’s leader in pass break-ups and interceptions last season, taking home Rookie of the Year honors on defense. This tandem was a bright sign for a team that is increasing in age. They found establishments and building blocks they could work with on both sides of the ball. While off-season additions like these only come once in a blue moon, the team looked to build off the stance and mindset that landed these players in New Orleans.
The team took a more-of-the-same approach to their off-season. This started the transitional period with the signing of key players. The re-signing aspect would write the story for the Saints this off-season. The team brought Drew Brees back for two more seasons. While the contract numbers still place Brees at a discount in pricing, this was an asset the team could not afford to lose. They have brought in numerous talents to back-up Brees, but none of these flashes have panned out in terms of finding a younger talent that would eventually take the helm for the foreseeable future. Other key re-signings include: Alex Okafor (Defensive End), Thomas Morstead (Punter), and George Johnson (Defensive Line). The team rehashed on the contracts of a few former talents to boost their depth and carry a sense of familiarity with them into the regular season. This saw one of Drew Brees’ favorite targets return in Benjamin Watson. Watson proved he is still capable of production in Baltimore, so a one-year contract was more than plausible for reconnecting this pair. Patrick Robinson enjoyed the luxury of competing for a Super Bowl ring last season. The Saints wanted to bolster their defensive secondary, making the reclaim to this former talent an easy choice. Robinson will be slotted behind Lattimore and will offer the team additional looks should they need to flex their defensive settings. Jermon Bushrod was also a former Saints product that returned to the organization after a prominent career elsewhere. He will compete for time at the offensive guard position.
The offense took a major hit the past few seasons in terms of pass-catching products. The team lost out on Brandin Cooks. They also recently left Willie Snead to sign elsewhere, severely reducing the production numbers for a normally talented receiving core. The team retained Ted Ginn and Michael Thomas in the process. Thomas has been a lifeline for Brees and sees the heaviest amount of targets. Ginn has revived a whirlwind career, finding success within this New Orleans offense. Despite the team’s reach to grab fillers this off-season, they were actually able to find comparable replacement in Cameron Meredith. Meredith hardly received the attraction from other teams due to be slotted within a rebuilding Bears offense. Getting him into a system that doesn’t require high volume and tasking jobs, Meredith can flourish. The fill-outs were still created with the likes of Brandon Tate, Austin Carr, and Michael Floyd. Tate is going to be a special team’s product, while Carr and Floyd will have to prove their worth in order to receive a roster spot.
The offense also took a hit with the Mark Ingram suspension. Ingram will serve his suspension for the first 4 games this season, placing a target on the back of Alvin Kamara. To help sans some of this pressure, the team brought in pass-catching back, Shane Vereen. Vereen comes one year removed from a Giants organization that rarely utilized his talents. Vereen excels as a third-down back, which leaves the team in an interesting position given Kamara’s flexibility. They will get to explore defensive settings, targeting matchups that produce the best chance for outcomes at the given time.
The draft represented some filler content at the back-up positions. The heaviest drafted positions include the linebacker core, defensive line, and offensive line. These filler talents will help keep the roster performing given injury scares or other issues. The team is strong in terms of talent that still holds relevancy within the league. It is starting to become now or never for Drew Brees and he looks towards a promising 2018 campaign.