The New Orleans Saints entered the 2017 season with a good idea of what they were working with as their starting offensive line, but as the season progressed a lot of tweaks were made. Arguably, there was not a reserve offensive lineman more important in the league than Senio Kelemete.
Senio Kelemete - At a Glance
- Approximate Value: 6
- Total Snaps: 748
- Pro Football Focus Rank: 42nd out of 77
- Overall Grade: 48.3
- Run Blocking Grade: 38.5 (325 snaps)
- Pass Coverage Grade: 76.7 (422 snaps)
- 2017 Stats: 16 games played, 8 games started
Kelemete’s number was called upon several times during the season, filling in at guard and tackle for the Saints offense. If you remember back in training camp, he also got some work at center. When he wasn’t inserted into the starting lineup, Kelemete was typically used as the sixth offensive lineman in jumbo sets. He also played in all 16 games for the Saints, missing only one contest in the past three seasons with the team.
For 2018, the Saints have a huge decision to make when it comes to Kelemete. Arguably, he’s earned a look or two at battling it out for a team’s starting guard position. Of course, that was a general belief when it came to Tim Lelito last offseason, but it never panned out for him. Kelemete has a lot more upside to him, is a great teammate in the locker room, and is willing to do whatever is necessary for his team.
Whether New Orleans ultimately shells out enough money to keep Kelemete remains to be seen, but it wouldn’t surprise me for them to pay their sixth offensive linemen a respectable salary. Of course, it goes without saying that the Saints have a lot of money already invested in Larry Warford and Andrus Peat. Potential in-house options include Cameron Tom and Landon Turner.