Monday, June 15, 2009

Saints Nation: The top 10 "Most Valuable" Saints

Click HERE for an article on the Saints top 10 players. You have to respect a site that mispells "Jahari Evans" :)

It's Jahri, people. Anyway the article has pretty good thoughts, with Stinchcomb a surprise at #8. Not sure I agree with Ellis at #3, he's valuable but he's done nowhere near enough at this point to be labeled a top 3 player on the team. Also interesting that Lance Moore, Will Smith and Jeremy Shockey were left off this list. A year ago Will Smith would have been in the top 3. Here's my top 10 list of "Most Valuable" Saints revised:

1. Drew Brees: Pretty obvious. (mvn's pick was Brees)

2. Jonathan Vilma: He's the captain of our defense and clearly the best player on that side of the ball. Without him the Saints would have been 32nd last year overall. I expect a huge year from him. (mvn's pick: Vilma)

3. Jammal Brown: I know some of you don't like him, but when you've got a 2 time Pro Bowl left tackle protecting the blind side of the franchise's most valuable asset, I call him pretty valuable. (mvn's pick: Sedrick Ellis)

4. Pierre Thomas: He's going to carry the load this year and he'll finally be the team's full time starter. He's not as exlposive as Bush but he's more reliable and makes less mistakes. (mvn's pick: Jammal Brown)

5. Marques Colston: The Saints need him healthy and on his game this year. The offense suffered in short yardage situations without him. Shockey ended up being a disappointment and Brees needs that sure handed target over the middle to keep the chains moving (mvn's pick: "Jahari" Evans)

6. Will Smith: It all starts with him on the defensive line. If he can be productive and return to his old form, the defense as a whole will play better. Last year he suffered playing through an injury and his performance dropped. If he can come back healthy he's still a premiere defensive end that can play the run and pass rush with impressive ability. Missing the first 4 games is a big blow. (mvn's pick: Colston)

7. Darren Sharper: He's a newcomer and there's no guarantee he'll start, but he is one of the best free safeties of all time. His ability to play the back end successfully could be the difference between a top 15 defense and another season of consistently giving up huge plays. With the amount of youth in the backfield, he'll also be extremely valuable in mentoring his teammates and teaching them how to play. (mvn's pick: Pierre Thomas)

8. Jahri Evans: In my opinion he's the best offensive lineman on the team. Brown gets more credit because good left tackles are really few and far between, but Evans should have been in a pro bowl by now. The success of the O-line these past years is as much because of him as anyone else. (mvn's pick: Jon Stinchcomb)

9. Bobby McCray: with Smith and Grant gone the first four games, he'll be a starter. Even when they come back, McCray is still clearly the best pass rusher on the team. The major area that plagued the Saints all of last season was poor pressure on opposing quarterbacks, and lack of turnovers. Both of those things can be rectified if McCray plays more and plays well. (mvn's pick: Reggie Bush)

10. Reggie Bush: He's the X factor. I feel like anything the Saints get out of him in a game is almost like bonus at this point. The offense is solid and good enough to run efficiently without him, and we've seen that, but Bush adds an element of flash that has to be accounted for. I'd give his season last year a B grade, but it was A+ prior to his injury. I think we've all figured out by now what Bush can and can't do, so the key is not trying to turn him into something he's not. Bush is a terrific situational role player that is extremely dangerous on any given play. Having game breakers like him is never a bad thing but hopefully the years of using his abilities incorrectly are behind us. (mvn's pick: Greer/Jenkins)