New Orleans Saints
Though the Saints had one of the most balanced offenses in the league last season, they struggled to get any production from the tight end position. This has been the case since Jimmy Graham was traded to Seattle in 2015. The Saints tried to pay Coby Fleener to be their new power-forward type of tight end, but the former Colt fizzled out two years into his five year contract; the Saints released him earlier this month.
New Orleans didn’t do much to rectify this situation in the draft or free agency, and will enter the season with a trio of Josh Hill, Benjamin Watson, and Garrett Griffin as their tight end deployment. Even for the most optimistic of people this group is concerning, with very little upside.
Watson is the best among them having scored four touchdowns, 522 yards, and 61 catches last season for the Ravens, but he’s 37 years old. In Watson’s last stint with the Saints back in 2015 he actually put together a really strong campaign, with 74 catches, 825 yards, and six touchdowns. NFL teams will take that from their tight end 10 out of 10 times, and the Saints will be ecstatic if the vet can recapture that chemistry with Drew Brees.
Josh Hill is much younger than Watson at 28, but far less accomplished with a lower ceiling despite his age. Hill was a hot commodity in the fantasy football community when Jimmy Graham was jettisoned, but he’s failed to come even close to producing. There seems to be little indication that will change in 2018.
Garrett Griffin is entering just his second year as a professional but has only one career catch to his name, so there’s really not much to be said. The Saints clearly have some measure of belief in this group, but I certainly do not. Watson is a danger if you forget to account for him, but not anyone that will alter a defensive game plan.