Determining the New Orleans Saints’ core players moving forward

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The New Orleans Saints without question have talent, but which of these talents are most deserving of the title ‘core player’ as we move forward into the new era of Crescent City football?

Dec 13, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) kneels in the huddle during the second half against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. The New Orleans Saints won 24-17. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

One of the things that has been lost in the shuffle of yet another losing season is the renaissance taking place within the New Orleans Saints organization. While fans have (rightly) focused on the losses and the mistakes that have often caused them, they have often overlooked an incredibly important part of it: the team’s sudden youth.

When someone looks at the Saints they probably instantly see aging veterans Zach Strief, Jahri Evans, Marques Colston, and of course Drew Brees. However, behind those players, New Orleans is quietly, stealthily, building a young core that will lead them into the next era of Saints football. Before I get to who I believe will become the core pieces that the team is going to build around going forward, I decided to ask my fellow Who Dat Dish writers who they would pick if they could choose five players currently on the roster to build around.

Let’s see who they picked:

Barry Hirstius: Hau’oli Kikaha, Delvin Breaux, Stephone Anthony, Tyeler Davison, Cam Jordan.

Ian-Mitchel Dear: Kenny Vaccaro, Stephone Anthony, Hau’oli Kikaha, Terron Armstead, Brandin Cooks

John Hendrix: Delvin Breaux, Hau’oli Kikaha, Stephone Anthony, Andrus Peat, Terron Armstead

John Sigler: Terron Armstead, Delvin Breaux, Brandin Cooks, Stephone Anthony, Cam Jordan

Andrew Schuster: Brandon Browner, Zach Strief, Tim Lelito, David Hawthorne, C.J. Spiller (He was kidding. It’s Jordan, Cooks, Anthony, Breaux, Armstead)

Jan-Hendrik Otto: Damian Swann, Delvin Breaux, Cam Jordan, Stephone Anthony, Kenny Vaccaro

Every one of these is a solid list of 5 and I have no issue with any of them. We will get into each of these players a little bit more in depth in a second, but first let me share my own list: Jordan, Breaux, Cooks, Armstead, Anthony.

Each of us chose the players we chose for our own reasons, and we each see the game in our own way. I won’t try to pretend to know any of my colleague’s minds on this beyond saying that they all made good choices. However, my own point of view is centered on not only the players themselves, but how easily they could be built around.

For that reason the players I picked are either at a vital position that is beyond replacement, or have the versatility to be effective in any scheme. Both are needed and highly valuable, and to be honest the Saints have more than five players worth building around (thus why we didn’t all pick the same guys). Feel free to reach out to the other writers for their own takes, but I’m going to make the case for EACH player any one of us listed to be a ‘building block’ for the Saints future based on my own perspective. So, here we go.

Next: Hau'oli Kikaha