The days of the New Orleans Saints being an every-year NFC contender appear to be over, for now. But, this team could quietly come back with a vengeance in 2023.
The days of Drew Brees are gone. Sean Payton is long in the rear view. But, New Orleans still boasts a talented roster and very well could make a run, not just for the NFC South title, but they might just rattle a few cages come the postseason.
For the Saints to be legitimate in 2023, there are a few key players who need to take the pressure on their shoulders and translate it into positive performance. It starts in training camp, but needs to go beyond the summer months and into the regular season. These guys are facing pressure, but if they take that pressure and do something great with it, then the Saints will be in good shape.
Carl Granderson, DE
When the Saints saw Marcus Davenport leave via free agency and sign with the Vikings, he was viewed as one of those "big fish." Quite frankly, I didn't see it that way. The production simply wasn't there with the level of draft capital spent on a player like him.
Last season, Carl Granderson only ended up starting a handful of games and still out-produced Davenport with 5.5 sacks in 16 total games to his half a sack in 15 games.
This year, it'll be Granderson who steps into the full-time starting role previously occupied by Davenport. Davenport was a big name, and that's the main reason why Granderson must prove he is worthy of not only taking over, but that he might just be a better fit and player for this Saints defense.
This coming season is also big for Granderson if he wants to stick around. So, if he proves he can take over that starting spot and make this defense even better, possibly, then he'll have a job for a while.