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Projected 2014 starters: New Orleans Saints

Around The League predicts the Week 1 starting lineups for all 32 teams, analyzing the potential impact of each rookie class. Click here for the complete series breakdown.


New Orleans Saints Projected 2014 Starters
Offense
Defense
QB
DE
RB
NT
WR1
DE
WR2
OLB
WR3
ILB
TE
ILB
LT
CB1
LG
CB2
C
CB3
RG
SS
RT
FS

» The Saints traded up to No. 20 overall in last week's draft to grab Oregon State's Brandin Cooks, the fastest wide receiver in this year's class. Cooks gives the Saints a dangerous weapon in space and looms as a potential Pro Bowl performer in the slot alongside Jimmy Graham, Marques Colston and Kenny Stills. Coach Sean Payton will find a way to use them all in a scheme that figures to lean heavily on a flood of three-wideout sets.

» You won't find a better safety tandem east of Seattle. The combination of free-agent addition Jairus Byrd and last season's dynamic rookie Kenny Vaccaro will allow defensive coordinator Rob Ryan to attack opponents with an array of exotic looks. With the newly added Champ Bailey along for the ride at cornerback, look for New Orleans to operate generously out of the nickel. Whether that means three corners or a trio of safeties, the Saints promise to be fascinating All-22 fare from beginning to end.

» The loss of Darren Sproles won't be easy to fill. Cooks looms as an X-factor through the air, but it will fall to a committee of Mark Ingram, Pierre Thomas and young Khiry Robinson to churn out yardage on the ground. Ingram was dominant in a 14-carry, 145-yard romp over the Cowboys in Week 10 and showed well in the playoffs, but it was Robinson who carried the ball 12 times in the regular-season finale with another 21 totes in the postseason. Fantasy owners will be driven insane. Our dark horse? Payton has repeatedly mentioned Travaris Cadet as a candidate to replace Sproles as a pass-catcher out of the backfield.

The latest "Around The League Podcast" plays the post-draft version of the game "What's More Likely" and breaks down all the latest news.

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