We're #1, We're #1!!
Not that we expected anything different, did we?
Well with the start of Rookie mini-camp just around the bend, it's time to step back and look at the offseason moves. The Saints, coming off of their first Super Bowl Championship, have been fairly quiet. The two main personnel losses being DE Charles Grant (good riddance) and OLB Scott Fujita. Fujita's loss presents an interesting issue, because although he wasn't the most productive LB, he did his job, every down. OLB was, in my opinion, one of our weakest places on the depth chart, and I felt confident that we would address the position in the draft. That did not happen. Oh well.
The loss of Chuckwagon Grant opened us up to pick up Alex Brown from Chicago. From what I've seen of Brown he will be an immediate improvement over Grant. Guess we have to thank the Bears for winning the Julius Peppers Lottery.
What we did address in the draft though, is something I absolutely didn't see coming. We used our 1st round pick on CB Patrick Robinson. Corner is a spot that I considered us to be pretty solid at. Starters Jabari Greer and Tracy Porter our by far the best DB tandem in the NFC South, and in the top 5 in the league. Our nickel, Randall Gay, is older, but serviceable. On top of that, we have last years 1st round pick (14 overall), Malcolm Jenkins out there as well. He showed himself to be a capable corner in a nickel package last year. We also have signed a handful of UDFA CBs, including one Rafael Priest from TCU. Last year this guy was projected as a 2nd or 3rd rounder. At the beginning of this year he was looked at as a 3rd. A foot injury mid-season knocked him off of everybody's draft board apparently. This guy is my dark horse for winning the UDFA challenge in training camp.
So what does this mean? So much Corner depth in an already strong field? More than likely it signals the end of Darren Sharpers one year tenure. He is being very public about shopping himself to other teams, in the hopes it will drive up his market value. He reportedly wants 5 million a year (he made 1.7 with the Saints last year). I don't think any team will be willing to give that to a 34 year old Safety that has a penchant for gambling and getting burned on the verts. I think we are probably looking to move CB Malcolm Jenkins into the FS position in front of backup Usama Young. Jenkins definitely has the ability to be one of the most productive safeties in the league is he takes to it.
Maybe Sharper will be back. I hope so, personally. I just don't think the Saints are going to up their offer any more than they have.