Just like buying or selling stocks on the stock market, this report will critique the lower profile players on the roster. As an example, telling you to buy Micheal Thomas because is obvious, he’s a buy and everyone knows it. The focus are the guys that are not a higher profile and share the spotlight.
AJ Klein: The defense needed a leader who not only can bring leadership but also cover the field. Last year the Saints were hoping James Laurinaitis would be the man to run the defense. Age and injuries caught up to him and he wasn’t the same player that he was in St. Louis. Klein isn’t an elite linebacker but he is a very solid player who can be a difference maker for the Saints.
Tommylee Lewis: The guy is just making plays in camp and in the preaseaon games. Last year he displayed some breakout speed, but he just had a knack for making bonehead mistakes. Looks like he’s more comfortable in the offense and he has more confidence, even after a couple of special teams miscues. Expect him to make a couple big plays for the Saints this year. Remember Bill Parcells admires him and after what Tommylee has demonstrated, we do to.
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Al-Quadin Muhammed: The Saints traded up in the sixth round to get Muhammed, a prospect who was barley on the field at Miami. Questions also plagued Muhammed with possible character concerns. After his first training camp and preseason I think it’s safe to say, he’s making the team. Already with a couple of sacks under his belt, he provides some depth to the defensive end position, and a chance to start in a year. So far I’ve seen him use a spin move, agility and strength to get to the backfield. Seems like the Saints might have found a hidden gem.
Marshawn Lattimore: Okay, I’m breaking my “higher profile rule” The sample size is small but when he plays man on the outside he is a really tough cornerback to beat. In the first game against the Chargers he wasn’t targeted, but in the second game he made a couple of tackles and had great coverage in the first half against the Texans. I don’t remember him letting one pass by him. He didn’t play against DeAndre Hopkins, but I’ve been watching Satins cornerbacks for the past couple of seasons and he is a welcome sight and will be a beast.
Ken Crawly: For the most part Crawley has played well in the three preseason games. He had a couple of miscues in the Browns game but he came back with a solid outing against the Chargers and the Texans. In the Texans game he accounted for two pass knock downs. I think it’s a little silly to rely on him as a starter, but I think hes trending upward in a vastly improved secondary.
Garret Grayson: Over the offseason we heard reports that Grayson’s old coach and now Florida coach Jim McElwain helped him in the offseason return to form. Unfortunately it hasn’t really helped. In the first preseason game he was little timid and was sacked 4 times. Granted, the offensive line in form of him didn’t play very well, but this is year three of his development and for a quarterback drafted in the third round, he should have been able to seize the backup spot. He looks like a bust and a wasted 3rd round pick. If only we could have drafted another cornerback or defensive end or…. A tight end
Coby Fleener: Now, I can’t really say that he’s had a terrible camp, but with Alvin Kamara, Tommylee Lewis, and Brandon Coleman shining throughout camp, he kind of seem like an after though in this offense. Now of course he will not be a roster cut, he still is one of the better tight ends on the roster, but according to SportsTrac, the Saints can release him after the 17-18 year and only have 4.8 million in dead cap space. So this will be the make or break year. I can’t say that I’m overly positive that he will give us optimism this season.