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What We've Learned After Saints Minicamp Practices

As quickly as minicamp came, it went even faster. So, what are some things we've learned about the Saints after this week?

We've now seen the Saints at minicamp, OTAs, and rookie camp. After the team's three-day stretch of practices, they are going to be out of action for a while. It'll be a refreshing break for everyone before getting back to training camp. What have we learned from New Orleans after this week?

OBSERVATIONS AND NOTES: Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3

REHAB FOCUS: Several players that we are expecting for training camp include Michael Thomas, Marcus Davenport, and Payton Turner. We'll have to keep an eye on Taysom Hill. He was spotted doing some rehab on Thursday, and it won't be surprising if he does start the season on the PUP list. A positive sign of his timetable would be returning within 5-6 months. That might lineup with the end of July, but we'll see.

Marcus Maye and Rashid Shaheed have been around, but have not participated in drills. Both will become a focal point, and should be ready to go for camp. Taco Charlton, Dylan Mabin, and J.T. Gray are some to keep an eye on. We've seen Charlton doing some rehab and in the locker room.

POSITION BATTLES AHEAD: Things are only going to get more interesting from here on out. Some of the early battles to pay close attention to moving into camp involve the safety spot, tight end group, backup running back, and offensive line. It'll be interesting if the Saints do look to add any of the veterans (David Johnson, Senio Kelemete, Joe Schobert) who tried out this week to compete. We didn't see Schobert on the final day, however.

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DEVELOPMENT: You always want positive feedback from rookies and younger players, and Carl Granderson and Alontae Taylor are two of the better ones to point out from start to finish. Taylor is really excelling in coverage, among other things. He may be the team's fourth corner on the depth chart when it's all said and done, but maybe we should start thinking about him as a potential slot option down the line.

PLAYER MOMENTUM: Players who continued to shine a bit from the week included Bryce Thompson, Kirk Merritt, Daniel Whelan, Carl Granderson. We'll see how things work out at training camp, but Granderson in particular is a player who is getting a ton of reps with Marcus Davenport, Payton Turner, and Taco Charlton all not being out on the field. 

MORE INFO NEEDED: It's hard to gauge how some of the offensive linemen look when you aren't in full contact mode. There were some times you saw the younger tackles like Trevor Penning and Landon Young struggle in pass protection, but when we get to camp, this will be something to hone in on. Montana State's Lewis Kidd has also caught my eye a bit working at tackle. He certainly has an uphill battle on his hands, but will be one to watch.

JAMEIS WINSTON: He's looking strong out there, moving around well and even sprinting. Needless to say, Winston seems really focused and locked in. Ronald Curry talked about how he was taking more ownership this season, and it's evident on the field. He's been the first one there and the last to leave, so you can't say he's not dedicated and motivated.

What the Saints ultimately do this season will hinge a lot on No. 2, and if the early impressions are reality, New Orleans has a promising season ahead.

The Saints will be back for training camp, and look for the final week of July when practices will start. We should get an announcement on the actual dates and schedule in mid-July.


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