By Andrew Schuster @ShootsMcGavin on June 2, 2014
The beginning of OTAs means the birth of a new season. After a strong draft and a nice little dip into the free agent market, the New Orleans Saints are looking to impress once again in 2014. With that in mind, let's take a look at five things we've learned from the Black and Gold's OTAs up to this point.
Rookie undrafted free agent Brandon Coleman somehow went through the entire selection process untouched. The 6-foot-6 monster of a receiver from Rutgers becomes an immediate red zone threat to opposing defenses. He will be battling hard to earn that fourth spot on the depth chart. So far, the coaches seem to be pleased with Coleman's hustle and performance.
After a dizzy offseason between the Saints and Jimmy Graham, an appearance at OTAs was doubtful for the Pro-Bowl tight end. So what is he doing during his off time? Sailing. Graham is sailing in New York instead of participating in activities with his teammates. Have fun on your boat, Jimmy. The other guys will be working hard on improving their game in the meantime.
First-round draft pick Brandin Cooks shined at rookie minicamp and said that he expects to make an immediate impact in New Orleans. For now, the third spot on the depth chart is secure for the young, speedy wideout. He will be used on the outside, in the slot and in the backfield, according to Sean Payton. Cooks has the ability to be a serious playmaker from the get-go in the Saints' high-powered offense led by Drew Brees.
Tim Lelito looks to be the man to hold down the center position at the top of the depth chart for now. He started two games at guard last year but practiced a majority of the season snapping the ball. Former Saint Jonathan Goodwin was signed on Monday, but that is likely for insurance purposes. A strong performance this summer will secure Lelito as the go-to guy.
OLB Victor Butler missed all of 2013 due to an ACL tear after colliding with Mark Ingram in last season's OTAs. Rob Ryan brought him over from Dallas to be a starting pass rusher on the outside, but the emergence of Parys Haralson last will make it tough for Butler to get back on top. He will see tons of playing time but will need to shine this summer in order to earn the starting spot back.
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