For the sixth consecutive offseason, we’re ranking the New Orleans Saints‘ top players; this year it’ll be their top 20. We’ll publish a new player each weekday as we inch closer to training camp.
Eight players from last year’s list are no longer on this year’s list: No. 4 Brandin Cooks, No. 9 Stephone Anthony, No. 10 Keenan Lewis, No. 11 Coby Fleener, No. 16 James Laurinaitis, No. 17 Jairus Byrd, No. 19 Tim Hightower, No. 20 Thomas Morstead.
This year’s list brought a unique challenge with a 40 percent turnover from the 2016 top 20 rankings. It’s difficult to decipher how well some players will recover from injury. It’s also a challenge to determine how good some of the newbies (young and old) will fit into the mix.
I sense there won’t be a consensus outside the No. 1 player:
No. 20: WR Ted Ginn Jr.
Last year’s rank: NR
Season: 11; Age: 32; Height: 5-11; Weight: 180
There’s literally no slowing down the veteran wide receiver.
Ginn came to the Saints after his second stint in Carolina and will be likely one of the team’s fastest players. The Saints are banking on his speed in a Devery Henderson-type role for 2017.
He’ll be the clear No. 3 wideout, not the “replacement” for Brandin Cooks. Ginn should also be considered a viable option at either kick or punt returner.
Ginn can make the incredible catch, but he can also make the mind-boggling drop. It’s just who he is at this point in his career. But Ginn is coming off two of his better seasons with a combined 98 catches for 1,491 yards and 14 touchdowns with the Panthers.
The Saints landed Ginn on the first day of free agency.
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