Top 10 New Orleans Saints to watch at training camp: No. 8, Andrus Peat, Max Unger

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After checking out Brodrick Bunkley and Kenny Vaccaro at No. 10 and No. 9, our series continues with a double take at No. 8 on center Max Unger and rookie Andrus Peat, as the New Orleans Saints hope to get some big production out of their newest additions to the offensive line, beginning at training camp.

The Saints stunned the NFL world after they traded away Drew Brees‘ favorite target in All-Pro tight end Jimmy Graham.  While it seems like many of the so-called “experts” and analysts believe New Orleans’ offense is in trouble now, I’m here to tell you the Black and Gold will be just fine in that department.

While the head-scratching deal (in the eyes of a majority of the media) sent a huge offensive weapon to the Seattle Seahawks, in return, the Saints acquired a Pro Bowl center in Max Unger and the No. 31 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft aka Stephone Anthony, a promising, young, gifted inside linebacker who will eventually take over as the play-caller on the defensive side of the ball.  Undeniably, New Orleans struggled mightily along the offensive and at the linebacker position.

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Today, I’m here to talk about the newest additions to Brees’ front line, starting with Max Unger.  What does Unger bring to the table for the New Orleans Saints?  He brings passion, intelligence a high motor, and most importantly, solid interior protection, something we should notice from start to finish at training camp.

The Saints’ offensive line was far from conventional in 2014 — Brees’ production is vital for the team’s success and that guardianship that he’s been so blessed with in the past was missing in action for the majority of the season, leading to hurries, bad reads, poor decision making and a high amount of turnovers.

Max Unger is an immediate upgrade from centers Jonathan Goodwin and Tim Lelito.  But Lelito is now front-runner for the left guard spot.  While Saints fans may be questioning the decision to trade Jimmy Graham, remember, Brees is illustrious for making the players around him better, but he’ll need a solid offensive line to do that.  Unger can be one to assist if he can stay healthy (problems in the past), as well as my next subject, Andrus Peat.

In another surprising move, the Saints used their first draft pick to take Andrus Peat.  A head-scratching decision to some, including myself at first, the selection did make sense.

Current starting right tackle Zach Strief is aware that Peat will eventually take his job.  Not only will Strief be doing everything he can to make that process take as long as possible, but he said he will also assist in the development of Peat, proving himself as a true team player.

At 6-foot-7, 313 pounds, Peat boasts an enormous frame with long arms, broad shoulders and impressive weight distribution.  With surprisingly light feet, well-balanced coordination and that massive physique, he has no problem latching on and controlling speedy outside rushers.  He has showed that well so far, standing out at rookie minicamp, but things will be a bit different once the pads come on at training camp.

With a revamped offensive line, the New Orleans Saints look to of find themselves back on the road to the promised land.  And that Jimmy Graham trade may turn out for the better as a protected quarterback with an unpredictable offense may finally make a return to the Big Easy.  Training camp kicks off July 30 at The Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, WV.

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