During last year’s draft, the Saints made a surprising mid-round splash by trading up in the fifth round to select Tennant, a senior center out of Boston College. Tennant was widely considered one of the top centers in college during his senior year.
Fast forward one year, and it looks as if Tennant could be thrust into the role of the Saints starting center in 2011. Incumbent center, Jonathan Goodwin, is a restricted free agent and the Saints did not place a tender on him before the lockout began, allowing any team to nab him without owing the Saints any draft picks as compensation. He is also coming off a so-so 2010 season and will be turning 33 during the upcoming season.
Jeff Duncan, the Saints beat columnist with the New Orleans Times-Picayune, tweeted earlier in the offseason that the Saints’ coaching staff had only positive things to say about Goodwin’s rookie season where he played on both special teams and near the end of blowout victories. It probably isn’t the experience the Saints would have liked their potential future center to get, but he was able to spend the entire offseason taking in the playbook and has gotten a taste of life in the NFL.
If the Saints do not retain Goodwin, look for the team to tap Tennant as their starting center for the future. However, don’t be surprised if the team picks up another experience center or a versatile center who can also play some guard (kind of in the mold on Jamar Nesbit from a few years ago). Either way, it once again looks like the Saints found a potential star in the late rounds