1. Robert Meachem; after missing his rookie season and spending a good part of his 2nd season in Coach Payton’s doghouse Meachem looks to be poised for a breakout year in 2009. Reports are he has been working with a personal trainer all offseason and is in incredible shape. The biggest sign though is that he has learned the playbook and his confidence is soaring now. If all this is true then Meachem could make a push to be the teams #2 receiver giving us a great deep threat to line up across from Colston.
2. Adrian Arrington; After turning heads in camp last year Arrington ended up on IR after having an injury during the preseason. Coaches were impressed by how quickly he picked up the playbook along with his route running and hands. Arrington is a tall physical possession type receiver who could make a big impact if he continues to develop.
3. Herb Donaldson; This is a guy who demolished division I-AA and even put up good numbers against I-A teams such as Arkansas and Wisconsin. Look for Donaldson to not only make the squad but become the 3rd RB in the rotation. Donaldson has a bruising downhill style of running that the team needs. His knock was he didn‘t run good outside and wasn’t a great receiver, but after watching tape of him I find that to be in error, he can run to the outside has good hands to make the catch in the flat, not only that when he gets to the second level he can flat out run over defensive backs.
4. Sedrick Ellis; I know some of you are scratching your heads thinking Ellis, but we saw last year was barely scratching the surface of his potential. Ellis will take the step from solid to dominant this year. Ellis will be bringing up talk of the probowl this year.
5. DeMario Pressley; here is a guy like Arrington who missed his rookie season due to an injury, Pressley has as much ability as Ellis but has been hampered with injuries throughout his college career. None of his injuries were serious enough to cause worry they were just nagging and he was never given the time to completely recover from them. The Saints decided to put him on IR after suffering a fractured foot in camp last year I believe this move was more to let him spend the year finally getting healthy than simply because of the fracture, which would have been a 6-8 weeks recovery. Now that Pressley is 100% healthy look for him to make his presence known, he may even be starting before the season is over.
6. Anthony Waters; this is a no risk-high reward signing the Saints made. Waters missed his rookie season while recovering from an injury and was troubled with it in his 2nd year also, which limited his playing time. Waters has a good mix of size and speed and was dominant before he went down with a knee injury his senior year. Look for him to make a push for the backup spot behind Jonathan Vilma and become a key special teams contributor.
7 .Tracy Porter; like Sedrick Ellis we only got to see a glimpse of the surface of what he is capable of. After suffering a season ending injury in week 5 look for Porter to come out of the gate hard. He will quickly become the shutdown cover cornerback we need.
8. Chip Vaughn; a 4th round pick, Vaughn has the size and athleticism to be dominant in the NFL, he was over shadowed playing with Aaron Curry but he will be given the chance to shine here and I fully expect him to take advantage of it. He was ranked as the 3rd best safety in the draft by the Saints and as high as a 2nd rounder by some scouting services.