Sep 30, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Darren Sproles (43) celebrates a touchdown against the Miami Dolphins in the second half at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. New Orleans defeated Miami 38-17. Mandatory Credit: Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports
By now, we all know that Darren Sproles was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles yesterday for a fifth round draft pick. He was a huge part of that high-powered offense that we have all come to know, but relax Saints fans. I noticed a bunch of upset people yesterday via social media. Everything will be just fine in the Big Easy. Don’t get me wrong, Sproles will definitely be missed in New Orleans. However, he is replaceable. Maybe trading him was not the “respectful” way to send him out, but it was the best option for the team.
The Black and Gold may not have received a fourth round pick like they did when Chris Ivory was sent up to New York last year on draft day. Yet, a fifth rounder is just as valuable to Sean Payton and Mickey Loomis. The two are late round draft geniuses, always finding the sleepers. For example, Marques Colston, Jahri Evans and Zach Strief . One of the guys I have my eyes on is Kent State running back Dri Archer. The speedster nearly broke Chris Johnson’s 40-yard dash record at the NFL Scouting Combine, running a 4.26. With his Darren Sproles-like size and capabilities, he would be an incredible weapon for Drew Brees and Sean Payton to work with. Archer may not fall to the fifth, but grabbing him in the third or fourth rounds would be a good move by the Saints.
Back to the current roster, it seems (now this is my opinion) that the Saints may be trying to switch to more of a ground and pound offense. That pass game is not going anywhere. I just feel that a bigger running game is on the rise. Pierre Thomas signed a two-year extension and Mark Ingram was running noticeably harder toward the end of the 2013 season. With the emergence of Khiry Robinson, I’m sure we’ll be seeing him quite a bit in the backfield as well. Travaris Cadet, on the other hand, possesses the speed and quickness to be a great fit into the screen game. While he may not have the ball skills and experience of Sproles, he still poses a potential threat in the backfield next year.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Saints are almost perfect. The addition of Jairus Byrd is huge. He is a ball hawk and with the pressure Cam Jordan and Junior Galette bring on opposing quarterbacks, producing turnovers should be no big deal. Affixing another cornerback into the roster wouldn’t hurt, and according to Larry Holder of nola.com, New Orleans is expressing interest in Brandon Browner. That Black and Gold defense is on the way to another great year.
The departure of Darren Sproles definitely changes a few things, but as long as Drew Brees is captaining that offense, Saints fans should have no worries. Sean Payton and Mickey Loomis know exactly what they’re doing. The NFL is a business and sometimes business decisions need to be made. Unfortunately, Sproles falls into that category, but everything thing is just fine. The New Orleans Saints will impress once again in 2014.