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Saints 2009 Position Battles: Tight End

We return back to the offense today as we take a look at tight end in our early examination of the 2009 roster. The competition might get a bit heated this season but the race is wide open. The battle here is really for that third tight end spot as Jeremy Shockey and Billy Miller are probably sure to make the team. But will it be one of the two new free agent signees or practice squad regular Buck "Naked" Ortega?

A quick refresher of the current tight ends on the roster:

Player Height Weight Age Experience
Jeremy Shockey 6'5" 251 28 8
Billy Miller 6'3" 252 32 10
Darnell Dinkins 6'4" 260 32 8
Buck Ortega 6'4" 240 27 2
Dan Campbell 6'5" 265 33 11

We know Shockey is going to make the team. Let's all hope he stays healthy and benefits from a full off-season of training with Drew and the Saints offense. Done.

After picking up the slack last year in the absence of Shockey and Campbell, Billy Miller Time is everyone's favorite new tight end. If Miller can pick up where he left off last season, he should have no trouble making the team this season. He certainly deserves it.

The Saints picked up Darnell Dinkins this off-season undoubtedly with the hopes of having him compete for a spot. Only a minor contributor his entire career, Dinkins has never caught for over one hundred yards in a single season. Doubtful that he could supplant Miller but that third spot is free for the taking.

Buck Ortega has been limited to practice squad duty most of his career but saw a touch of action last season due to myriad injuries. Highly doubtful he makes the team outright but he may continue with his practice squad responsibilites in 2009.

Dan Campbell is the oldest of the bunch and his age may finally be catching up with him. Once a significant contributor with the Giants and Cowboys, Campbell has had only two receptions in the last two years. He'll be duking it out for that last spot with Ortega and Dinkins. Coming from the Lions, he'll need to wash off that loser stench to ever stand a chance.

Now it's on you! What do you expect to see from the Saints tight ends in 2009?