Last time in our 2014 Roster Depth Series we asked the question of whether or not the Saints had a 'swing' offensive tackle, meaning a tackle that was experienced on either the left or the right side. Through a little bit of digging, I was able to unveil that Bryce Harris did in fact meet the given criteria.
This time around we will stay on the offensive line, but move towards the interior portion. Our second question from Pat Kirwan's list asks:
Does your team have a solid inside offensive lineman that can play guard or center?
While this is clearly a yes-or-no question, I feel like I could answer this with "to be determined" because of the sudden emergence of Tim Lelito, who played as an offensive guard in 2013, at the center position. As far as being proven at the guard position, Lelito appeared in all regular season and postseason games last year as an undrafted rookie while adding two starts in the process. At center, however, his career will be starting from scratch again. According to Jeff Duncan and others that are close to the Saints, though, Lelito is holding his own at the center position early on in his transition.
The Saints' management made it clear even prior to the resigning of former 49er and one time Saint Jonathan Goodwin that Tim was going to be the guy snapping to Drew Brees in this upcoming season. For now, Jonathan is only being used as an insurance policy in case of injury, which speaks volumes of Lelito's changeover as Goodwin is no scrub. In the past nine years, he has only missed six games with a Pro Bowl nod and two Madden Most Valuable Protector Awards in the process.
To conclude my post with a little more clear answer to this question, I will have to give a 'yes' only because of the early praise that Lelito has gotten in his transition from guard to center. Answer the question differently if you will, but I will be putting my trust in the guys that have watched him throughout the offseason.
There you have it; two for two in the 2014 Roster Depth Series so far! Check back with us soon for the next of whether or not the Saints' roster is as deep as we think it is.