Feeling Drafty #24: New Orleans Saints

April 20, 2011 at 6:00 pm (Sports) (, , , , , , , , )

The consistency this guy shows is simply ridiculous. Drew Brees ran away with New Orleans Team MVP.

Even though I’ve said before that Chicago is my favorite team, I’ll lived in Louisiana all my life.  That philosophy hasn’t always been a good one for me, since I like all of the Chicago teams.  Remember when the Bears defeated the Saints in the 2007 NFC Championship Game.  How about when the White Sox beat the Astros in the World Series?  Guess who that didn’t end well for?

Everyone knows that the hardest thing to do in football is to pull a repeat.  And in case, you haven’t heard, the Saints had a big loss in the playoffs.  Besides shocking losses to Arizona and Cleveland, the Saints had a pretty good season.  They went 11-5, and made the playoffs again (as a wild card), but lost in a shocking upset to the Seahawks (more on that tomorrow).

Drew Brees was still scorching defenses, going for his 5th straight season with at least 4,400 passing yards and 25 touchdowns.  (That has to be a record, right?)  Let me ask you, if San Diego could have a re-do, would they take Drew Brees or Philip Rivers?  Tough decision, but I’d give the nod to Brees.

New Orleans’ running back situation is as confusing and convoluted as ever.  Reggie Bush was injured a lot, ineffective, overpaid, and probably will be leaving The Big Easy.  Pierre Thomas was injured even more, but at least when he was on the field, he was effective.  Christopher Ivory broke out this season as an undrafted free agent.  Ladell Betts and Julius Jones were hanging around picking up carries.  You can’t describe the New Orleans running game without including the word “cluster”.

And how about the receivers for this team.  Marques Colston was the most consistent receiver on this team, but he still had his off games.  Every year, it seems as though a different receiver jumps from the #4 receiver to the #2 receiver.  This year, it was Lance Moore.  The #4 receiver this season was Devery Henderson, so if you want a deep sleeper, Henderson could be the guy.  Robert Meachem is still there, so keep an eye on him.  But, next season’s breakout for the Saints will probably be Jimmy Graham, he had a good second half of the season, and now Jeremy Shockey is like Jim Croce and has “Carolina on his mind”.  Keep an eye on him, too.

This little-known big man, Muhammad Wilkerson, will be a welcome addition to a strengthening Saints D-line.

With all of this talk of New Orleans’ offense, the defense is the side that needs the help.  Even though the Saints recently picked up former Cleveland DT Shaun Rogers, I think the Saints will draft Temple DT Muhammad Wilkerson.  If you haven’t heard of this guy, don’t feel bad, you’re not the only one, he’s a bit under the radar.  But, he racked up 70 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, and 9.5 sacks.  Questions are around concerning the level of competition that he went up against, since he was competing in the “ultra-competitive” MAC, but those questions always come up for small-school prospects.  (Also, I think he’ll switch to DE with the addition of Shaun Rogers.)

That’s it for the teams that got eliminated in the wild card round.  Tomorrow, Seattle, the first team with a losing record to win their division.  Yay, for them.

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