Ranking the Saints: Players 15 to 11

Updated: Jul. 19, 2017 at 9:39 PM CDT
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(WVUE) - Our countdown of the top twenty Saints players continues with a trio of free agency additions, a second year pro and an injury-prone veteran.

#15 - By week four of safety Vonn Bell's rookie season, he was a full-time starter and showed promise. He didn't miss a game and finished with 87 tackles, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and a sack.

In year two, the arrow is pointing up for Bell. He'll return to his starting role in the secondary and can hopefully improve on the foundation he laid in 2016. For him, that means more interceptions and less over-aggressive penalties. If he does, then a big season should follow, which would help make the Saints defense better in 2017.

#14 - Ted Ginn Jr. was brought in after Brandin Cooks was dealt to New England. Ginn may be 31, but he can still fly. The Saints will look to capitalize on those jets in the vertical passing game and the return game.

As the elder statesman of the wide receiver group, he'll also provide leadership to a group that's undergone a youth movement. Ginn spent three of the last four seasons in Carolina. By bringing him to New Orleans, the Saints hope he strengthens their roster while weakening their division rivals.

#13 - Another new face makes our list in defensive end Alex Okafor. It's no secret that the Saints biggest defensive flaw in 2016 was a lack of a pass rush off the edge. That's where Okafor comes in.

One look at film study shows that Okafor is noticeably quicker than any defensive lineman on the Saints roster. The former Arizona Cardinal is also betting on himself after signing a one-year deal with the Saints this offseason.

#12 - When linebacker Dannell Ellerbe is healthy, he is arguably the top linebacker on the Saints roster. It's just that he isn't healthy all that often. In two seasons in New Orleans, he's missed 17 games.

During organized team activities, Ellerbe broke a bone in his foot which sidelined him once again. He's expected back in time for training camp. When he returns, he'll likely return to the first team at weakside linebacker but if his health becomes an issue again, then his future with the club could be in jeopardy.

#11 - New Saints running back Adrian Peterson is one of the greatest to ever play. At 32, expectations have been tempered in New Orleans, but still, new teammates have gushed over AP. He won't be asked to carry the load in New Orleans like he's done his entire career, but he will be asked to be a contributor in the backfield with Mark Ingram. The hope is that Peterson still has some gas left in the tank and will help a dynamic offense become that much stronger.

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