First New Orleans Saints mailbag of the offseason, first since the regular season ended, and this one ensures that we're off to a great start. Here we go:
@brees4l1fe: What will the running back rotation look like?
JD: Training camp will sort this out, but minus that, my guess is that Mark Ingramremains the starter given that he's coming off a career year and knows the system better than every other back on the roster. Of course, Adrian Petersonspells Ingram and he probably is going to get more carries than the 133 that Tim Hightowerhad last year (behind Ingram's 205). The Ingram-Peterson load may be closer to a 50-50 split than Ingram-Hightower. Pencil in rookie Alvin Kamaraas the third-down back and a guy who appears capable of lining up in the slot; the third-round pick is a player the Saints considered drafting in the second round, so they hold him in high regard. I'll give a roster spot to Daniel Lascoas a third back behind Ingram and Peterson (that position takes a beating) and he also has the makings of a special team ace, but he has to stay healthy. That leaves the last spot as a scrap between Travaris Cadetand Marcus Murphyand off the top of my head, I think Cadet may bring more versatility and value (he can be a third-down back, he can run the ball, he understands protections, he's a good receiver and he can play special teams). Murphy offers more of a home-run threat, but he's had difficulty securing the ball.
@want2beapirate: What happened to Charles Walker? I thought he signed as an unrestricted free agent?
JD: At present, he's not listed on the roster. If he was invited to the combine that some players participated in at the Saints' training facility – comprised mainly of local players who weren't invited to the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, but were given a chance to show their talents in New Orleans – that doesn't mean he was offered a contract. However, it also doesn't mean that he won't attend the team's rookie minicamp as a tryout player or, later, be invited training camp.
@jagilar4: When will you start doing afternoon roundups?! I miss them!!
JD: Bro, don't give me any extra work right now. It's the offseason (lol). But, seriously, I'm sure we'll be back with a few special editions (rookie minicamp, the team minicamp, maybe during some of the other offseason availabilities) before we hit our stride in training camp.
@dizzleonthekeys: Do you have a list of all undrafted free agents?
JD: There are 12: long snapper Chase Dominguez, wide receivers Travin Dural and Ahmad Fulwood, defensive tackle Devaroe Lawrence, offensive lineman Andrew Lauderdale, guards Collin Buchanan, Cameron Lee and Clint Van Horn, cornerback Arthur Maulet, fullback John Robinson-Woodgett, linebacker Sae Tautu and center Cameron Tom.
@matthewpark1971: Has Adrian Peterson had a chance to enjoy JazzFest or Tipitina's?
JD: I'm not sure, but I doubt it. He probably hit the ground running – literally – and likely hasn't had much time to soak in New Orleans. If he's had a break, figure that it was spent trying to relocate his things from Minnesota to Houston, where he lives, or to his residence in New Orleans.
@IanW_32: What numbers are the rookies wearing?
JD: Numbers haven't yet been assigned. Keep checking the team website, because that should happen pretty soon, probably next week.
@MANth3DAN: If you could have any player from this year's draft, who would you pick?
JD: Trick question? If you're not kidding, I'd have taken the same guy that I assume you would have taken: Myles Garrett. Not only was the defensive end considered the best player in the draft, he'd have filled the Saints' desire for a rush end opposite Cam Jordan. That's not a knock against first-round pick Marshon Lattimore, the top-rated cornerback in the draft, who also fills a need for the Saints in the secondary. But Garrett was a consensus choice as the top overall pick, and he had the added bonus of filling one of the team's most pressing needs.