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Who stood out at Saints training camp? Picks for MVP, most improved, best rookie

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Marshon Lattimore had a simple, one-word response when asked about training camp wrapping up Thursday. "Relief," the cornerback said. Fans got their final glimpse of the Saints before the team heads off to play Saturday's preseason game on the road ...

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Old 08-23-2019, 07:22 AM   #1
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Marshon Lattimore had a simple, one-word response when asked about training camp wrapping up Thursday.

"Relief," the cornerback said.

Fans got their final glimpse of the Saints before the team heads off to play Saturday's preseason game on the road against the New York Jets and then next Thursday's preseason finale at home against the Miami Dolphins. Sean Payton and his staff will then have to trim the roster down to 53 after that.

Now that training camp has come to an end, lets hand out some awards based on what these eyes have seen.

Most Valuable Player
Vonn Bell. No we didn't write about the fourth-year safety every day. But boy was the fourth-year safety consistent in both practice and in the first two games. The former second-round pick out of Ohio State has played in all 48 games since his arrival in New Orleans. While Michael Thomas and Sheldon Rankins have grabbed most of the headlines in that draft class, don't be surprised if Bell becomes a household name around the NFL this season. The strides he was making last season have spilled over into 2019.



Most Improved
When camp started, defensive end Trey Hendrickson wasn't a sure thing on my 53-man roster projection. He played in just five games last season, a drop off from the 12 he played as a rookie. He had zero sacks in 2018 after recording two the season before.

But he's put on some weight and shown improvement and should see his playing time look more like it did in 2017 than 2018.

"I think there is a growth in the NFL from the rookie year to the second year to the third year," Hendrickson said. "I take every season the same mentally and physically, so not much has changed but I've just seen more."

Best drafted rookie
Confession. Back in April after the NFL draft, I would've guessed only two of the Saints' five draft picks would make the team. The two I had penciled in on the 53-man roster were center Erik McCoy and defensive back Chauncey Gardner-Johnson. Safety Saquan Hampton (sixth round), tight end Alizť Mack (seventh round) and linebacker Kaden Elliss (seventh round) were long shots. Fast forward to the present and Hampton and Elliss likely make it. An injury sidelined Mack for much of camp, which hurts his chances. Best of the bunch? McCoy. Remember when camp began and the most intriguing question was who would replace Max Unger at center. McCoy seemingly won the battle about three weeks ago and has been running mostly with the first-team since.

Best undrafted rookie
This one is easy. Emmanuel Butler. Media members couldn't stop raving about the receiver out of Northern Arizona who made one big play after another during the first few weeks of practice before battling an injury. That didn't translate over into the games though as he dropped an easy pass Sunday. But his big plays in Metairie greatly outweighed that miscue in Los Angeles.


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Old 08-23-2019, 08:07 AM   #2
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Re: Who stood out at Saints training camp? Picks for MVP, most improved, best rookie

If Mack isn't very close to getting healthy I hope we'll IR him to make him stick around. Great physical talent that probably will need another year to grasp this offense if what you read about his time with ND is correct.
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Old 08-23-2019, 08:33 AM   #3
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Re: Who stood out at Saints training camp? Picks for MVP, most improved, best rookie

I didn't realize this is Vonn Bell's 4th season in New Orleans.

2018 was quietly a good year for him.
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Old 08-23-2019, 02:40 PM   #4
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Re: Who stood out at Saints training camp? Picks for MVP, most improved, best rookie

I’m not sold on Lattimores work ethic and attitude.
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Old 08-23-2019, 05:49 PM   #5
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Re: Who stood out at Saints training camp? Picks for MVP, most improved, best rookie

Teddy Bridgewater Saints future QB
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Old 08-24-2019, 03:44 PM   #6
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Re: Who stood out at Saints training camp? Picks for MVP, most improved, best rookie

EB... can't be just a practice monster. I was disappointed we didn't see anything from him last week.

Maybe tonight...?
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Old 08-25-2019, 08:52 AM   #7
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Re: Who stood out at Saints training camp? Picks for MVP, most improved, best rookie

Ozigbo Iím really really starting to like the kid. Payton I believe going to try and hide this guy. Washington is a power runner with hands of stone and Paytonís backfield has to excel in catching screens . Dumps had blocking . He has a juke to make first guy miss. Washington for the time being has the job for being special teams flex.
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Old 08-25-2019, 04:30 PM   #8
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Re: Who stood out at Saints training camp? Picks for MVP, most improved, best rookie

-Gray is showing why he made the team last year. He has it.
-McCoy and Gardner-Johnson are the truth.
-Ozigbo is worthy of being Kamara's backup.
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