5 Saints' Positional Battles to Watch
The New Orleans Saints are stacked on both offense and defense. Every player wants to earn a starting spot on the depth chart, but there are only so many available. With the new season just around the corner, let's take a look at five positional battles to watch during Saints' organized team activities.
As of right now, Brodrick Bunkley is the starting nose tackle in Rob Ryan's 3-4 defense, but injuries have really made him a non-factor so far during his career in New Orleans. As a rookie in 2013, John Jenkins played well in his absence. Bunkley's experience grants him the upper hand, but if Jenkins wins over the spot, it would be no surprise. A strong performance in OTAs and training camp by both may make it a difficult decision for coaches.
Marques Colston, Kenny Stills and rookie Brandin Cooks are a lock for the Nos. 1, 2 and 3 spots on the depth chart. After that, the Saints have Joe Morgan (missed 2013 due to injury), Robert Meachem, Nick Toon, Andy Tanner and UDFA Brandon Coleman. Morgan was set to be third last year, but rookie Kenny Stills shined in his absence. All of these receivers have the potential, so a well-fought battle is likely to happen all summer long.
Keenan Lewis is a lock at the top, but who will be starting alongside him when the season kicks off? 12-time Pro Bowl CB Champ Bailey, Patrick Robinson, Corey White and rookie Stanley Jean-Baptiste will all look to make a case. This may be the most exciting positional battle to watch during OTAs and training camp. Everybody is going to be fighting to start on Rob Ryan's aggressive, well-structured defense.
Tim Lelito is the front-runner to win the starting spot on the depth chart, but with Mike Golic Jr and Matt Armstrong in the mix and today's signing of Jonathan Goodwin, there is a little extra competition now. Goodwin brings experience and a familiarity with the Saints' offense; he played in New Orleans from 2006-2010 before signing with the San Francisco 49ers. The battle is on in the Big Easy.
With Victor Butler having missed the entire 2013 season due to an ACL tear, Parys Haralson seems to have the upper hand at winning the starting spot opposite Junior Galette. Rob Ryan brought Butler over from Dallas last year to get some added pressure on opposing quarterbacks. He would have likely been the starter in 2013 but will now have some work to do to get back on top.