Cornerback, Eli Apple:
Eli Apple was acquired in a trade with the New York Giants last season and has always been a mediocre cornerback to pair alongside Pro Bowler Marshon Lattimore.
The 24-year-old corner was a former first-round pick by the New York Giants in 2016, but never quite lived up to the hype. Eli Apple had 56 tackles and zero interceptions while being targeted 68 times and allowing 43 receptions.
Apple has always seemed to be the weak link of the New Orleans defense as his Pro Football Focus Grade of 63.8 ranks second lowest amongst defensive starters behind only AJ Klein who came into the season as a backup but was forced to start due to injuries.
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Apple has struggled with allowing penalties as well. He had eight penalties in 2019 for 91 yards allowed. All eight of those penalties were either pass interference or defensive holding. Nobody else in the Saints secondary struggled as much as Apple did to cover their man legally and effectively.
The Saints should not choose to sign Eli Apple over PJ Williams or even a solid corner in free agency.
PJ Williams was a backup corner all year and he still managed to have 41 tackles, one sack, and one interception. Williams also played a little free safety when he was asked to. PJ Williams arguably outperformed Apple and he would be a much cheaper option rather than Eli Apple.
Marshon Lattimore, Janoris Jenkins, and CJ Gardner-Johnson already have the two cornerbacks and one nickel back spot reserved and it just doesn’t leave room for Eli Apple.
Aside from that, if you consider the fact that the Saints have a top 25 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft and could potentially get a top-four corner in the first round and get a very good starting wide receiver in the third round, it shows that there are far cheaper and more reliable options to weigh in rather than settling with Eli Apple.