As we turn our attention to the next New Orleans Saints campaign in 2018, we can’t leave last season in the past just yet. We’re going through a multitude of the players on the roster in our Year in Review pieces, with today’s focus being on linebacker Craig Robertson.
Going into the season, Robertson looked to have a bigger role in Dennis Allen’s defense. However, between signing A.J. Klein and Manti Te’o and then drafting Alex Anzalone, Robertson was going to be more of a role player and special teams presence for New Orleans. Injuries led to Robertson inserting himself more in the lineup, appearing in 921 total snaps for the Saints defense.
Craig Robertson - At a Glance
- Approximate Value: 7
- Pro Football Focus Rank: 39th out of 100
- Overall Grade: 74.6
- Run Defense Grade: 68.9 (340 snaps)
- Pass Coverage Grade: 76.0 (487 snaps)
- Pass Rush Grade: 52.6 (94 snaps)
- 2017 Stats: 16 games played, 80 total tackles (53 solo, 27 assisted), 2.0 sacks, 2 interceptions, 2 fumble recoveries, forced fumble, 6 pass defenses
Robertson’s 80 total tackles were good for second on the team behind second-year safety Vonn Bell. He didn’t get his first interception of the season until Week 15 of the season against the Jets off a ball in the air courtesy of a Ken Crawley breakup, and then got the other in the regular season finale against the Buccaneers. His sacks came against the Lions (Week 6) and Rams (Week 12). Robertson’s season-high tackle output was 11 (Week 6 vs. Lions), with 10 as an honorable mention against the Falcons in Week 16. Also worth mentioning is that Robertson finally got to play in the postseason for the first time in his career, a game in which the Saints won their opening round against the Panthers.
In 2018, the recently turned 30-year-old enters the final year of his original three-year contract. The Saints were fortunate to have a seasoned player like Robertson step in to help quarterback the defense after A.J. Klein went down, and he should enter the new season looking to insert himself in the starting lineup once again, but will most assuredly provide quality depth and contribute on special teams.