The New Orleans Saints have a young core with 2016, 2017, and 2018 draft classes. The Saints have Sheldon Rankins, Michael Thomas, Vonn Bell, and David Onyemata from 2016. Then they have Marshon Lattimore, Ryan Ramczyk, Marcus Williams, Alvin Kamara, and Alex Anzalone from 2017. The Saints were also able to add Marcus Davenport and Tre’Quan Smith in 2018. Players like Terron Armstead, Mark Ingram, Cam Jordan, and Ken Crawley are still in their respective primes. The New Orleans Saints look ready to compete in 2018 and beyond.
But even with all of their young players, the Saints also have a stable core of veterans. Two of those veterans ranked among Bleacher Report’s Top 30 over 30. The first player who showed up on the list might come as a bit of a surprise: the recently re-signed Patrick Robinson, #30:
Patrick Robinson experienced a career revival with the Philadelphia Eagles before re-signing with the New Orleans Saints this offseason.
Robinson struggled early in his career after being the 32nd overall pick in the 2010 NFL draft. The cornerback played five seasons with the Saints before bouncing around the league with the Los Angeles Chargers, Indianapolis Colts and Eagles.
”Growing up, I was always very talented, one of the better skill players on the team,” Robinson said, per ESPN.com’s Mike Triplett. “And going through that whole stretch of ups and downs, getting injured, I think that was definitely something that I needed. And over these past years, I’ve learned a lot.”
The 30-year-old defensive back flourished once placed in the nickel role under Jim Schwartz’s supervision. The veteran allowed a 64.96 quarterback rating when covering the slot last season, according to the New Orleans Advocate’s Nick Underhill.
The next Saints player isn’t much of a shock at all, Saints QB Drew Brees comes #4:
Drew Brees threw for 44,187 yards since turning 30 years old before the 2009 campaign, and he’s not slowing down. The 39-year-old signal-caller only needs 1,495 yards to eclipse Peyton Manning as the NFL’s all-time leading passer, and he should easily surpass the goal this fall.
He’ll do so as part of an evolving New Orleans Saints offense.
Brees’ overall production dipped dramatically last season. The 11-time Pro Bowl selection attempted only 536 passes—which became his lowest total since the 2009 campaign. His 4,334 passing total was the lowest since 2005 and ‘03, respectively.
But the new approach has less to do with diminishing skills and far more to do with a loaded backfield featuring Mark Ingram and reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year Alvin Kamara.
Brees remains exceptionally efficient after setting an NFL record with a 72 completion percentage, and there’s no reason to believe he won’t be as effective this fall.