The emergence of Khiry Robinson late in the year could make veteran Pierre Thomas a salary cap casualty this off-season, but that doesn’t mean the New Orleans Saints are all set at running back.
As the league continues to turn towards a running-back-by-committee philosophy, the larger your stable of backs the more likely you are to have success. Robinson provided a spark in 2013, and Mark Ingram even looked to be on the cusp of rejuvenating his career; however, Darren Sproles is now on the wrong side of 30, and there are a few guys coming out of college that could help the Saints’ offense.
For example, the talent inherent in Lache Seastrunk earned him a nod as a preseason Heisman Trophy candidate; however, injuries and the emergence of Bryce Petty led to a diminished roll in the Baylor offense. That could actually be a blessing in disguise for the Saints though, because he’s projected as the 10th best running back by cover32′s Buck Stanton.
If he does end up falling to the middle-to-late rounds of the 2014 draft, don’t be surprised if the Saints jump on the opportunity to lock up Sproles’ heir-apparent.
Oregon’s De’Anthony Thomas would be the ideal replacement, both in the backfield and in the return game, but it remains to be seen if he’ll fall far enough for the Saints to scoop him up. As of now New Orleans has more pressing issues (offensive line, wide receiver, and pass rusher to name a few) that they will most likely not look at running backs until day three of the draft (rounds four through seven).
To find out where the rest of the crop of running backs rank in this year’s draft, click here.
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