Borrowing the popular idea from the NFL Network, The Times-Picayune’s New Orleans Saintscoverage team came up with our ranking of the top 25 players on the Saints’ roster heading into the 2012 season. The idea is to make these rankings as current as possible – essentially deciding who would be the best players on the field if they lined up for a game today. Therefore, past accomplishments and potential are both factored in.
Obviously, that led to some tough decisions, and that will lead to plenty of second guessing. And we’d love to hear it. Feel free to vote on the rankings and add your comments below as we unveil the list daily leading up to the start of training camp.
No. 25 WR DEVERY HENDERSON
Age: 30. Year: 9. Ht., wt.: 5-11, 200.
SAINTS COLUMNIST MIKE TRIPLETT’S TAKE:
We’ve been just as guilty as many Saints fans in recent years when it comes to under-appreciating Henderson and predicting annually that he might get released in favor of younger receivers. But it’s clear that the Saints’ coaching staff values his reliability and versatility. They may count on him even more this season now that fellow backup Robert Meachem left in free agency.
Henderson has become even more of a part-time player the last two seasons, averaging 33 catches, 484 yards and 1.5 touchdowns. But the Saints love that they can count on him to fill in at any of the receiver positions when needed. He still might be their best deep threat even at age 30, and he has become a reliable pass catcher after struggling with drops earlier in his career. Plus, he’s the team’s best downfield blocker – one of those underrated skills that keeps veterans like him on the field.
SAINTS CB JABARI GREER’S TAKE:
“Devery has deceptive blazing speed. Devery is a guy that his first two steps, you think that you’ve got him. And by step 18, he’s four steps ahead of you. He has great acceleration. He has great spatial awareness. He knows how to get open in the zone. He knows how to push away from a corner in the zone. And he’s reliable on the catch, he knows how to catch the ball. And he knows how to finish the big play. The deep ball is one of the hardest to track, and he does a good job of tracking the deep ball.
“And he is a great blocker. I didn’t know about that until some of the guys told us. And then I continually started to see him on the big hit reel. He showed up as somebody who was bringing the big stick every week.”