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Where do the New Orleans Saints rank in terms of overall talent?

Dec 25, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara (41) gestures with offensive guard Cesar Ruiz (51) after scoring his fourth touchdown of the game in the second half against the Minnesota Vikings at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 25, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara (41) gestures with offensive guard Cesar Ruiz (51) after scoring his fourth touchdown of the game in the second half against the Minnesota Vikings at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports /
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The New Orleans Saints might not have Drew Brees as their quarterback anymore but the roster is still in decent shape. Both the offense and the defense could be in the top 10 in the league if all goes according to plan but as of now, they’re not completely garnering that kind of respect.

Jordan Dajani of CBS Sports ranked every NFL roster and had the Saints at No. 17 on his list. Dajani offered this analysis about the defensive side of the ball:

"The Saints lost several important players this offseason, but not necessarily enough to take them out of playoff contention. Alex Anzalone and Kwon Alexander will be replaced by Zack Baun and Pete Werner — who have Demario Davis to lead them at linebacker. Sack superstar Trey Hendrickson is gone, but Marcus Davenport or the rookie Payton Turner should be viable replacements, and the same goes for Shy Tuttle replacing Malcom Brown. The secondary is still in good shape even though they lost Janoris Jenkins. This defense as a whole finished No. 4 last year, and still can be a top 10 unit in 2021."

Yes, the Saints lost some of their key defensive players but as Dajani points out, they have their bases covered when it comes to replacing those guys. Losing Hendrickson is a blow but at the same time, 2020 was his best season. Who knows if he’ll end up being a one-season wonder or what will happen there.

Dajani continues with his assessment of the Saints’ offense:

"On offense, the Saints lost Drew Brees to retirement but Jameis Winston or Taysom Hill aren’t terrible replacements. Having the versatile Alvin Kamara will help whoever wins the battle, as will having Michael Thomas back healthy. The offensive line is also a stout group that will help in the quarterback transition. I’ll defer to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when it comes to this year’s division winner, but the Saints can still make the playoffs with this roster."

I’ve mentioned in several articles that while the Saints’ quarterback situation isn’t great, it could be way worse. Jameis Winston is a former No. 1 overall pick and Taysom Hill proved that he could play well in a starting role last year.

Kamara is a top-three running back and is a threat both in the running and passing game, which helps the Saints’ offense tremendously. That’s another reason to believe in this offense in 2021 because Kamara is an absolute game-changer and ankle-breaker in this league.

The biggest question marks on the offensive side of the ball are at the wide receiver position behind Michael Thomas and at tight end. Offensive line is a strength of the team and that’s certainly a good thing considering how important that position is, especially for a run-heavy team like the Saints.

The New Orleans Saints’ roster is considered to be in the middle of the pack.

While the Saints should be ranked higher than No. 17, I get why Dajani put them where he did. They’re without their Hall of Fame quarterback and have a new look on that side of the ball so they’re a tough team to really gauge.

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This is a chance for the Saints to show that they’re better than what people are expecting and they have the roster to do just that.

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