When the NFL Draft concludes every year, you get a good grasp on where each organization stands.
Whether they’re contenders or rebuilders, the draft is the big test to determine who the organization is comfortable with as leaders of their team and who might be on thin ice.
This is part 1 of a 2-part series about what players the New Orleans Saints are comfortable with after the draft and who might need to impress this year.
3 Players the Saints are Comfortable With
Pete Werner, LB
The Saints showed that they have complete trust in their linebacker corps by only drafting one this year in the later rounds, which was a position that people were looking at New Orleans to go after. The linebacker group, led by Demario Davis, looks to get a little younger in 2022 and they’re going to do that with Pete Werner. Werner, a 2nd round pick a year ago from Ohio State, finished with 62 tackles in 15 games for the Black and Gold in 2021. Now with a year under his belt, look for Werner to make a big leap in production as well as playing time in Ryan Nielsen and Kris Richard’s defense.
Jameis Winston, QB
2022 will be the Year of Winston.
Jameis Winston looks poised to be ready to roll for New Orleans in 2022, returning from an ACL tear he suffered on Halloween a year ago. Now, the “Lasik Laser” seems to be healthier than ever and playing with a chip on his shoulder. New Orleans recently signed Winston to a 2 year/$28 million contract that makes him a valuable starting QB for the organization. This is the same guy that’s 3 years removed from leading the league in passing yards (we’ll leave out the part about also leading the league in INTs). As long as Jameis can keep the turnovers down and stay healthy, the Saints may have a long-term solution at QB with this guy.
Cameron Jordan, DE
Cam has been a face of this franchise for a long time. From his work in the community to his energy on the field, Jordan is beloved by the entire fanbase. However, he’s getting older after 10 years in the league and it might be time for the Saints to start looking to the future. They have Marcus Davenport and Payton Turner, but Jordan still seems to be the guy. He’s a 7-time Pro Bowler, including each of the last 5 seasons, who racked up 12.5 sacks and 2 forced fumbles in 2021 and although he’s getting older for the NFL, he doesn’t seem to be losing a step.
Later this week, we’ll take a look at a few players that the Saints might have some issues trusting to lead in their current roles.