Grading New Orleans Saints’ 2014 Offeseason on Offense Up to This Point
The New Orleans Saints have made some monstrous moves so far this offseason. Whether it was acquiring key players or releasing team veterans, the Saints have been pretty active up to this point. It’s sometimes tough to see your favorite players move on to new teams, but it’s a new chapter in their lives and yours. New Orleans was really left with no choice; business decisions needed to be carried out in order to clear up cap space. Let’s take a look at the Saints’ grades on the offensive side of the ball so far this offseason.
Let’s be honest; it’s Drew Brees. There is no need for an explanation. Veteran Luke McCown was re-signed to back the gunslinger up, but the only playing time he’ll see is during the preseason.
Receiving Corps: B
Losing the experience of Lance Moore (one of Brees’ favorite targets) hurts, but speedy sophomore Kenny Stills and a returning Joe Morgan (missed 2013 due to injury) will help make up for that. Not to mention, the consistency and big body of Marques Colston has always done the team right. The Jimmy Graham situation has been ugly, but the Saints will do everything in their power to reach a long-term deal to keep both sides happy. The best tight end in the game will be on the field for the Black and Gold next season. New Orleans could use another target on the offensive side of the ball to add depth, so they will most likely turn to the 2014 NFL Draft to fill that hole.
Running Backs: B-
Pierre Thomas, Mark Ingram and Khiry Robinson certainly bring a strong foundation to the backfield, but the departure of Darren Sproles takes away some of that speed. The Saints weren’t much of a power running team in the past, but the release of Sproles and re-signing of Thomas makes you wonder if New Orleans will be looking to run the ball more in 2014. All three backs are solid, but the Saints should look to the draft to insert some speed back into the equation. Going after Kent State RB Dri Archer or Oregon‘s De’Anthony Thomas in the later rounds would be something to think about.
Offensive Line: B
Brian de la Puente was one of the more productive lineman as of late, but the re-signing of Zach Strief and emergence of Terron Armstead will help make up for the absence of De la Puente. Rumor has it that the Saints are interested in signing C Jonathan Goodwin from free agency; he played in New Orleans from 2006-2010 before signing with the San Francisco 49ers. Jahri Evans and Ben Grubbs have the guard spots locked down, but drafting another center and another offensive tackle would be a safe move.
The Saints could use some more weapons, but as long as Brees is leading the charge, New Orleans is in good hands. The 2014 NFL Draft is just weeks away; who will the Sean Payton and GM Mickey Loomis target to enhance that already high-powered offense?