2. New Orleans Saints What’s New in 2019: There’s a really settled outlook on the coaching side with DC Dennis Allen going into his 5th season and Pete Carmichael going into his 11th season as OC. That’s the kind of stability you dream of as a successful franchise, as they have been of late. On the personnel side, things have been pretty quiet. They brought in Malcom Brown from the Patriots in FA who was solid and unspectacular there, Latavius Murray likely assumes the Mark Ingram role, and the underrated Rishard Matthews signed recently at receiver. The draft was extremely brief, but they could have landed two potential bargains in Erik McCoy and Chauncey Gardner-Johnson. Roster Strengths: Quarterback – Brees came extremely close to landing the MVP for the first time in a season where he turned 40 years old. His arm strength notably dropped once the playoffs came around, so let’s hope that isn’t a sign of things to come because he was impeccable before that. Running Back – Alvin Kamara further established himself as one of game’s great offensive weapons in only his second season Offensive Tackle – When Terron Armstead is fit and healthy, he is one of the best left tackles in the game and forms one of the best partnerships with Ryan Ramcyk locking the right side down since he was drafted Safety – Vonn Bell and Marcus Williams have been a rock solid pairing at the back-end and there’s reason to be excited about their 4th round pick Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, who could come in as the team’s 3rd safety Elsewhere – There is elite level talent at other roster positions in Michael Thomas, who consistently outwits and outmuscles defensive backs. Cameron Jordan, who has been money every single year since he was drafted in 2011. Marshon Lattimore was incredible in his rookie season and came close to matching that level down the stretch last season. Many teams don't even have one player with the talent of those three.   Roster Weaknesses: Receiver Depth - I couldn’t really find a glaring hole on this roster, but it's a little no-name after Michael Thomas even if they always seem to find their guys there Breakout Player: Marcus Davenport – Feels like the only choice for this spot after the Saints spent two 1sts on him in 2018 and didn’t get an immediate return on that investment as he battled through injuries. He feels like a key player to their success in only year two and has some serious physical tools to lean on to get deliver on that and can give the Saints the edge presence they've craved.  How they can win in 2019: On offense, a cleaner bill of health on the offensive line feels like an important ask. They’ve got by through shuffling players around and invested in versatility to help with that. Max Unger’s center spot is available and they’ll be hoping their 2nd round investment in Erik McCoy can take it and hit the ground running. Elsewhere the Saints don’t feel quite as dependent on Michael Thomas as last year, but he still has to stay healthy and manage a heavy workload as that dream connection with Brees fuels this passing offense. The addition of Jared Cook could be a big help, he’s had an enigmatic career but you get the feeling the Saints will know exactly what to do with him. Short of Drew Brees falling completely off, it’s hard to see the offense having less than another excellent year with the likes of Alvin Kamara and Thomas emerging as league superstars.  On defense, the Sheldon Rankins injury is a blow because it happened just as he was starting to flourish. They’ve still got David Onyemata and Malcom Brown to hold down the fort and a little depth behind them, but that’s a net loss to the disruption they could cause up front. A second year jump from Marcus Davenport can certainly help with that, he’s got the physical tools to be dominant if he can develop over his second year. The Klein-Anzalone-Davis trio have solidified a previous problem unit at linebacker and the returning Patrick Robinson, who was absent for 2018, should come in and help in the slot where PJ Williams just about got by in his absence. They’ll be hoping Eli Apple can continue to be at least solid after solidifying the spot opposite Lattimore and he seemed to enjoy being around his old college teammates. Safety should continue to be a strong point with their young players growing into those roles further.  Predicted record 2019: 13-3 – They were a dominant team despite a really bad run of luck with injury last season. It’s difficult to see anything other than another dominant year providing Brees's arm strength issues at the end of 2018 aren't a sign of things to come
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