Saints Roster Outlook: Quarterbacks and Running backs

johnsigler
Jan 3, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Tim Hightower (34) runs against Atlanta Falcons strong safety Kemal Ishmael (36) and cornerback Robert Alford (23) in the fourth quarter of their game at the Georgia Dome. The Saints won 20-17. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 3, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Tim Hightower (34) runs against Atlanta Falcons strong safety Kemal Ishmael (36) and cornerback Robert Alford (23) in the fourth quarter of their game at the Georgia Dome. The Saints won 20-17. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports /
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Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports /

Powerbacks (2)

  1. Mark Ingram #22
  2. Tim Hightower #34

It’s not fair to look at all of the ball-carriers on the Saints roster through the same lens, so I won’t.  They have two distinctive skills sets, though head coach Sean Payton has been emphasizing less specialization this summer to make the offense less predictable.

Both Mark Ingram and Tim Hightower proved to be capable three-down backs who could run, catch, and most-importantly block effectively.  The big question is health:  when will Ingram, aged 27 this year, start a full season?  Could Hightower see a flare-up of the ACL injury that put his career on hiatus?  The Saints roster doesn’t really have anyone who could replace both of these guys should they each fall out, but the chances of that are very slim.

Let’s knock on wood and play devil’s advocate, though:  wouldn’t it be interesting if a superstar back like LSU’s Leonard Fournette is available when the Saints draft next spring?

Next: What about the other runningbacks?

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