Optimism is always high at this point of the offseason as teams prepare for the start of the regular season. As each team is technically undefeated at this point, there are plenty of reasons to give each team hope for the 2018 season. Bleacher Report listed the biggest reason for each team to look forward to 2018, and for the New Orleans Saints, it’s the 2017 draft class:
The 2017 New Orleans Saints ranked tops in the NFL in DVOA, which is pretty amazing considering how heavily the Saints relied on their rookies.
It helped that their rookie class was one of the best in league history. They became the first team in half a century to possess both the Offensive (Alvin Kamara) and Defensive (Marshon Lattimore) Rookies of the Year, but it didn’t stop there. First-round offensive tackle Ryan Ramczyk and second-round safety Marcus Williams also became tremendous assets as regular starters.
There’s no reason to believe those four won’t continue to improve coming off their first full offseasons in the league. And if that happens, a team that was a Super Bowl contender in 2017 might actually become a favorite in 2018.
The Saints were the first team to have both the offensive and defensive Rookie of the Year since the first year of the award. Ryan Ramczyk graded out by Pro Football Focus as the best performing rookie of the entire 2017 draft, not just of the Saints. Marcus Williams has showed the makings of becoming one of the best young Safeties in the NFL.
Alex Anzalone and Trey Hendrickson should both be healthy for the 2018 regular season and should bring an extra level of speed, youth, and athleticism to the linebacking corp and defensive line respectively. That’s not to mention the Saints also have Al-Quadin Muhammad to factor in to the defensive line (for now).
If the 2017 draft class making an improvement is a possibility, then the Saints could be absolutely dominant in 2018.