Jun 16, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints tight end Coby Fleener (82) waits to start a drill with the tight ends during the final day of minicamp at the New Orleans Saints Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
TIGHTENDS: COBY FLEENER, JOSH HILL, CHRIS MANHERTZ (HOOMANAWANUI ON I.R.) (3)
The tight-end position has heavily evolved over the years, and the Saints use of it did as well. It started with a young tight-end named Jimmy Graham and even after Graham’s departure the tight-end position still reigned as a vital role in the offense.
Last year, former Saint and now Baltimore Ravens tight end Ben Watson (who just was lost for the season with a torn Achilles injury) had his best statistical season of his NFL career last season in New Orleans with 74 Rec, 825 Yards and 6 Touchdowns. But even after Watson’s great season the Saints wanted an upgrade.
Coby Fleener is that upgrade, and the former 2nd round pick out of Stanford is a big 6-foot-6 target that will serve as a match up problem.
Perhaps Fleener will serve as the match up problem the Saints have been missing since the departures of Sproles and Graham. That’s if he can overcome his apparent early struggles in learning the Saints offensive scheme, of course.
Josh Hill was poised for a breakout season last year, and even NFL.com had him in the Top 10 player to watch out for, but nothing surfaced. Hill has continued to be quite but it looks like the Saints will stick with him.
Michael Hoomananui would have been the #3 TE here originally, but with the Saints in all likelihood about to place him on Injured Reserve with a leg injury, his spot know goes to UDFA tight end and former basketball star Chris Manhertz.
IF there’s a chance that Hoomanawanui’s injury turns out to be not as serious as it’s currently thought to be, then he would go back on here as the #3 guy.