After the soul crushing “Minneapolis Miracle” divisional playoff loss I evaluated the 2017 season which, by any measure, was a success. The way the team dug out of an 0-2 hole to finish 11-5 and win the NFC south was unexpected by almost everyone. Myself and Barry Hirstus were both at 10-6 prediction wise but most others were in the 6-10 to 8-8 range. The 2017 draft by New Orleans was the greatest of the 2000s from any NFL team, but can they have another successful off season and build on the young talent already in the fold. Can they also be fortunate in the free agent market, which has mostly been catastrophic the last several years. These questions and more will be answered in the next few months.
The young talent on the black and gold is both undeniable and deep. Alvin Kamara, Marshon Lattimore and Ryan Ramczyk are special players. Other excellent rookies last season Marcus Williams, Alex Anzalone and special teams ace Justin Hardee. The bulk of the Saints roster is comprised of players with 3 years or less experience. Positions that need immediate upgrades are tight end, defensive end, linebacker, and nickel corner. The truth is New Orleans could use an upgrade at almost every position group. A punt/kick returner is also a need, maybe KIRK from TAMU is an option in the draft. Then we have the other elephant in the Superdome, Drew Brees’ heir apparent. Many of these questions will be answered in the next few months, some won’t be known until next season. The truth is the team had a very good year amidst many injuries and young players coming through in pressure situations. The future is indeed bright for the New Orleans Saints but the door is slowly closing, resign 9 and make another run.