Six times per season, the New Orleans Saints face a wide array of talented players in NFC South divisional play. Most are good, some are great, but few can truly be considered elite. The clearest example of the Saints' elite is All-World quarterback Drew Brees. Brees stands as a prime example of a player most teams would love to poach from New Orleans if salary implications were not a factor.
We wrap up our week long coverage of the Saints' NFC South competition by posing a hypothetical question:
Which rival NFC South player would you choose to become a Saint?
We list arguably the top elite player on each of the Saints' three divisional rivals, and ask hypothetically which player you would choose to play for the Saints, if salary and the cap were not a factor. Here are the best of the best outside of New Orleans, the players that drive the Saints, and Who Dat Nation, crazy. Who would you like to take?
Julio Jones - Wide Receiver, Atlanta Falcons
Jones is a top-five receiver in the NFL and has been a threat to the Saints' defensive backfield since he was drafted by Atlanta in 2011. Jones' elite skill set paired with those of Drew Brees would be unbelievably dynamic for the Saints offense. Jones would be the high-end wideout target that the Saints have never invested in since Sean Payton and Drew Brees arrived in New Orleans in 2006. Jones as a Saint would be almost unfair to the rest of the league, and having him as a threat alone would open things up for the rest of the pass catchers on the team. The dynamic Jones paired with the dynamic Saints offense would be quite the spectacle.
Luke Kuechly - Middle Linebacker, Carolina Panthers
Kuechly is a two-time first team All-Pro linebacker, an NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year (2012), and an NFL Defensive Player of the Year (2013) since being drafted by Carolina in 2012. He has been an anchor of one of the NFL's best defensive front sevens, and has been seen as a leader on the field and in the locker room. Does this sound like a guy the Saints could use? Yeah, thought so. Dannell Ellerbe and David Hawthorne may be the guys in that position, but could you just imagine Kuechly playing alongside Stephone Anthony in the middle of the linebacking corps? Feel free to retrieve your jaws from the floor. Kuechly would be a transformative player for the Saints defense for a decade.
Gerald McCoy - Defensive Tackle, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
McCoy is a two-time All-Pro defensive tackle who measures in at 6'4" and 300 lbs. He has accumulated 154 tackles and 27.5 sacks in 65 games since being drafted by Tampa in 2010. McCoy is just the type of player the Saints would need to anchor the middle of their defensive line. Rob Ryan's defense needs a strong, physical presence at nose tackle, and McCoy with his size, length, and athleticism, would be ideal in this role. He's the type of player that could turn around the Saints defense, allowing the players around him like Akiem Hicks and Cameron Jordan to absolutely shine. The upgrade from McCoy over Broderick Bunkley would be huge, and would make the Saints defensive line among the most formidable to line up against.
There you have it. Vote for your choice in our poll. If you have another choice, leave it in the comments below. We want to hear your comments and insight, Who Dat Nation!