New Orleans Saints top players tiered
The tier 2 players
Wide Receiver: Michael Thomas – Tier 2
This opinion will probably get a reaction, but let me explain. There are very few elite players at the receiver position. That top tier contains Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham Jr., DeAndre Hopkins, and Julio Jones: All players with extreme athleticism and technical abilities.
The larger second tier is where Michael Thomas lives. With great route running technique, ability to win contested catch situations, and the ability to win in both the slot and outside, Thomas has totaled nearly 2,400 total yards and 14 touchdowns in two season with the Saints. Thomas’ dominance is also apparent when you see that he’s been targeted 270 times by Drew Brees in those two years. Thomas is not quite in that elite tier, but there aren’t five receivers I’d take over him.
Cornerback: Marshon Lattimore – Tier 2
While the Saints were gunning for Patrick Mahomes with their first round pick in 2017, they came away with a pretty decent “consolation prize” in Marshon Lattimore. Grading out as my highest corner prospect in that draft class, I knew Lattimore would excel in the league. I just didn’t think he’d skyrocket this quickly.
Amassing 5 interceptions, 18 pass deflections, and 43 tackles, Lattimore was crowned Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2017. With great speed, agility, technique, and tenacity, the New Orlenas Saints can line Lattimore up on anyone in the league and expect great results.
My only issue that holds Lattimore back from entering that top tier is the prestigious company in that tier and his limited resume. Similar to Michael Thomas at wide receiver, Lattimore is a tremendous talent. With guys like Jalen Ramsey, A.J. Bouye, Jimmy Smith, Darius Slay, and Marcus Peters performing this consistently for multiple years, there isn’t much more room for others. Give Lattimore another year or two of tremendous play, however, and we’re talking about another tier one corner in the NFL.
Safety: Marcus Williams – Tier 2
Seen as a first round prospect by the New Orleans Saints (and many twitter scouts), Marcus Williams performed excellently throughout the year. Registering 4 interceptions, 7 pass deflections, and nearly 60 tackles, Williams stepped up when given starting time and never looked back.
With elite single-high ability, Williams has the feel for coverage and great agility and closing speed that allow him to patrol a wide area on the field. With another couple years under his belt, I think we could be talking about Marcus Williams as one of the best safeties in the NFL.
Tackle: Ryan Ramczyk – Tier 2
In a day and age where dominant edge rushers line up on both sides of the line, the right tackle position is becoming just as important as left tackle.
Ryan Ramczyk started all 16 games for the Saints in 2017 and showed his technical prowess in the pass game and a dominant force in the run game. It’s amazing to see such a great return on investment so early. With more development and fine tuning his technique, Ramczyk could easily rise into the elite tier.
Terron Armstead nearly made the cut here, but missed time in every season as a pro have hurt him. A fully healthy Armstead could be special, but until then, Ramczyk gets my vote and he gets placed a notch above Armstead.