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CSC Mailbag: Depth at running back, wide receiver, and more

Should the Saints make a move now to add to their running back room?

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v New Orleans Saints Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Could I see it happening? Sure. Anything can happen? Do I think it’s likely, not exactly.

Odell isn’t fully healthy right now, so his agent is under no rush to get him latched on with a new team. It makes the most sense for Odell and his camp to wait to see how things shake out in the preseason - and possibly even into the start of the season - to see if a contending team suffers an injury or if a fringe team thinks the addition of Odell could make them a contender. At that point, the signing team, whether its the Saints or otherwise, would likely be willing to overpay for Odell to bring him into their offense.

With that being said, let’s hope then the Saints don’t sign Odell, because that likely means something bad happened in the wide receiver room.

Yes, but there’s no reason for that to be of any concern at this point. By all accounts, he’s still on track to start Week 1.

Our own Jeremy Trottier did a great breakdown of the type of player the Saints are getting in Trevor Penning and what Saints fans can expect. You can read that piece here. Basically, Penning is a high-end athlete who can keep a quarterback safe while also advancing to the next level on his blocks, but he might get a little too handsy that could cause a few frustrating flags at the NFL level.

I’ll group these two together.

I think it would be wise for the Saints to be considering depth at the running back position with the possibility of a suspension looming for Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram on the wrong side of 30.

There are many in the Who Dat Nation who have high hopes for UDFA signee Abram Smith, and some think he could very well be that high-upside depth piece behind Ingram and Kamara. We covered Smith a bit when we discussed the entire UDFA draft class, where we noted that NBC’s Thor Nordstrom had this to say about Smith:

In his only season as a full-time starting RB after shifting over from LB, Smith posted a Baylor-record 1,601 rushing yards on 6.2 YPC. Smith is a profit-taking runner that’s rarely finished behind the line. He exhibits good patience and tempo, along with crisp cuts into the hole in Baylor’s wide-zone system.

In this RB class, Smith finished top-10 last year in both overall PFF grade and yards after contact per attempt. He’s a little stiff in the lower half, remains raw as a receiver, and lacks joystick agility and high-end speed – but I think his early-down efficiency will translate to the NFL.

Part of the problem is we’ve heard parts of this song before with Tony Jones, Jr. last year, and we saw how he struggled in real NFL games despite flashing in camp.

If the Saints aren’t blown away with Smith’s performance this training camp, I still would be surprised to see the Saints trade away any type of real assets for a running back that may be available on the trade market. Instead, it would probably be best to try to sign a player that is cut elsewhere when rosters are trimmed down right before the season just in case Smith proves to not be that “guy.” Remember: the Saints aren’t looking for their next franchise running back, just a fill-in for a few games; no need to give up future assets for someone who you don’t expect to contribute long term.

I relate more personally to St. Drogo, the patron saint of unattractive people.