ESPN ranks Saints a top-five team following 2020 NFL Draft
We already knew the New Orleans Saints were a top-five team following the 2020 NFL Draft. ESPN’s power rankings helped confirm that notion.
The New Orleans Saints improved this offseason.
While they didn’t make the strides that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers did, the reigning NFC South champs will stay atop the division in rankings for the time being. Even Tom Brady can’t help the Bucs crack into the top five.
For New Orleans, the improvement this offseason came from two key additions — Cesar Ruiz and Emmanuel Sanders.
Ruiz shored up the offensive line and allowed them to save almost $8 million by releasing three-time Pro Bowl guard Larry Warford. As for Sanders, he’ll give the team some speed on the edge and finally a capable threat besides reigning Offensive Player of the Year Michael Thomas.
That said, this team should’ve been a top-five team given their 13-3 record last season and improvements this offseason.
Seemingly having each beat writer take their individual team, here’s how Mike Triplett phrased his section on the Saints, the second-best NFC team in ESPN’s post-draft rankings which were originally dropped on May 4.
“Player who benefited: RB Alvin Kamara. We already knew how important Kamara is to the Saints as he heads into the final year of his contract. But he is even more vital now as both a runner and receiver after the Saints didn’t address either position in the draft. (ESPN’s Dianna Russini reported that they were considering RB Jonathan Taylor in Round 1, among other possibilities.) As a bonus for Kamara, the Saints used their first-round pick on center Cesar Ruiz, whose highlight package is filled with him blowing up huge running lanes. — Mike Triplett”
While they did lose Vonn Bell and Eli Apple, the Saints should be just fine as they re-signed a few corners and will finally watch Marcus Williams step into the spotlight along with the recently-added Malcolm Jenkins.
This team is dynamic in almost every position. There isn’t a single unit that should be a weakness that opponents could exploit, and if there is one, it’s likely caused by the lack of depth like at linebacker.
Coming into 2020, while we don’t know 100% if the season will start as scheduled, we do know the Saints should be, at the very least, a Wild Card team. It’d be shocking to see this team miss the playoffs and not clinch a fourth straight NFC South title.