Four Players That Must Step Up to Make the 2018 New Orleans Saints The New Orleans Saints wrap up the first of their organized team activities (OTA's) today Wil Lutz Jersey , the first of three workouts the team will have until the beginning of training camp. The Saints will meet again on May 29-31, then June 4-7 for two more rounds of OTA's before mandatory mini-camp from June 12-14. Today, we have a look at four players who surprised some with their preseason performance a year ago to make the roster, but must step up their progression to be a factor on the 2018 New Orleans Saints. Arthur Maulet, CBDerick E. Hingle-USA TODAY SportsMaulet, a native of Kenner, LA., beat the odds and made his hometown team as an undrafted rookie from Memphis last season. He stood out in the preseason with strong coverage performances and excellent special teams play. Maulet saw action in 6 games during the regular season, mostly on special teams, and expects to be in the mix for more snaps at defensive back this season. He is an aggressive and athletic corner with the man-to-man skills to match up against almost any wideout. He is considered undersized for an outside corner (5'10, 190-lbs.), but makes up for that with explosive leaping ability. Maulet has to work his way through a crowded and talented crew to make this Saints roster again. Reigning defensive rookie of the year Marshon Lattimore, Ken Crawley, and the free agent return of Patrick Robinson likely have the top three corner spots, leaving 2-3 spots up for grabs among a talented group of competitors. Rookie 5th round pick Natrell Jamerson brings special teams explosiveness and the skill to play both safety and slot corner. Sixth round pick Kamrin Moore has an aggressive mentality in coverage, as well as being a standout special teams defender. Linden Stephens surprised many by going undrafted, but brings terrific athleticism and tight coverage skills to the table. Returning veterans P.J. Williams, Justin Hardee, and even De'Vante Harris have all had varying degrees of success during their time with New Orleans. This cornerback battle shapes up as perhaps the most hotly contested position of the entire summer. Al-Quadin Muhammad, DEDerick E. Hingle-USA TODAY SportsMuhammad was drafted by the Saints in the 6th round last year out of the University of Miami. He was one of the stars of the 2017 preseason , leading the team with 4 sacks and providing very good pressure off the edge. Muhammad saw limited action in just 4 regular season games, spending the majority of the year inactive. He is a tenacious pass rusher with good strength and an explosive first step on the edge, but must refine his all-around game. His inexperience was particularly evident against the run, often getting caught out of position. Muhammad faces added competition for a roster spot at defensive end this season. The Saints traded up to draft Marcus Davenport with the 14th selection of the 1st round, and last year's starter Alex Okafor is expected to make a full recovery from an Achilles injury that ended his season. George Johnson was re-signed after playing effectively down the stretch of 2017, and the Saints still have hopes that 2015 2nd round pick Hau'oli Kikaha will be able to stay healthy and capitalize on his potential. Trey Edmunds, RBMark Konezny-USA TODAY SportsEdmunds rushed for 48 yards on 9 carries and played solid special teams, playing in all 16 games as an undrafted rookie for New Orleans last year. With Pro Bowl running back Mark Ingram suspended for the first four games of the regular season, Edmunds will have an opportunity to grab additional carries behind last year's offensive rookie of the year Alvin Kamara until Ingram's return. He will be among a group of young, but unproven backs like Jonathan Williams, Daniel Lasco, and Boston Scott. Edmunds is a rugged and physical runner between the tackles with decent burst in the open field, and could potentially be effective in short yardage and goal line situations. The Saints have not signed a veteran back in the wake of Ingram's suspension, despite the inexperience. The performance of Edmunds and the other backs currently rostered through OTA's and mini-camp will likely dictate whether the team rolls into the preseason with the backs they have, or if they choose to explore a free agent option. Travin Dural, WRDerick E. Hingle-USA TODAY SportsDural made the Saints squad last year as an undrafted rookie from L.S.U. based solely on his athletic potential. He had 4 receptions for 56-yds. during the 2017 preseason, but has good height and terrific deep speed. New Orleans managed to keep him on the practice squad a year ago, in hopes of capitalizing on his potential as a deep threat. He has an uphill battle to win a job at wide receiver. New Orleans already has one of the best in the game in superstar Michael Thomas, along with a productive veteran in Ted Ginn Jr. The Saints then added former Chicago star Cameron Meredith in free agency, and used a 3rd round draft pick to grab a potential star in Tre'quan Smith from Central Florida. They re-signed Brandon Coleman Marcus Williams Jersey , a big target that quarterback Drew Brees trusts, particularly near the goal line. Rookie free agent Keith Kirkwood caught the eye of coaches in rookie camp, and returning reserves Tommylee Lewis, Austin Carr and Josh Huff figure to provide heavy competition as well on a position that may only have one active roster spot up for grabs. With established veterans the likes of Brees, Ingram, and Cam Jordan, it is easy to forget how much youth that the Saints have throughout their roster. Competition for snaps, playing time, and even roster spots will be fierce all summer long, as the Saints look to build depth on a championship caliber roster.New Orleans Saints Triumphs: First Win in Franchise History We are only one month away from the official beginning of training camp for the 2018 New Orleans Saints. Veterans report to the facility on July 25th, about a week after the team's rookies have already arrived. Fans of the team are bubbling with excitement, especially after the return to prominence of the Saints as a contender last season. While we anxiously wait for the 2018 version of the Saints to take the field, we look back today at one of the memorable moments from the team's 52-yr. old past, by continuing the Canal Street Chronicles Triumphs and Tragedies series of the New Orleans Saints. First Win in Saints HistoryThe date was November 5, 1967. The site was Tulane Stadium, home of the expansion New Orleans Saints, who were in their first year of existence. New Orleans had started their inaugural season off with a bang, when John Gilliam returned the first kickoff in franchise history for a touchdown against the Los Angeles Rams in the opening game. The Saints went on to lose that game however, along with their next six, and entered the eighth game of their initial season 0-7 Authentic Alvin Kamara Jersey , having yet to savor victory as a franchise. The team was coached by Tom Fears, but many of the veterans who were acquired by the team were well past their prime. Visiting the Saints that afternoon would be their Capitol Division opponent, the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles, coached by Joe Kuharich, would come into the game with a 4-3 record. They had one of the league's best passing attacks, led by quarterback Norm Snead and wideout Ben Hawkins. The Saints on the other hand, would wind up near the bottom of the 16 team NFL in nearly every NFL category. Veteran running back Jim Taylor, a future Hall of Famer, led the team in rushing but finished with just 390 yards. The team's best offensive production came from a receiver drafted in the 17th round, Danny Abramowicz. Defensively, future Hall of Fame defensive end Doug Atkins still had some effective play left, after being acquired in a trade with the Chicago Bears. Cornerback Dave Whitsell also came from Chicago, via the expansion draft, was the Saints defensive star and the team's first ever Pro Bowl selection in 1967. New Orleans gave up the number 1 overall draft pick to the Baltimore Colts for quarterback Gary Cuozzo to lead the team, but he could do no better than share time with veteran Billy Kilmer during the '67 season. The Saints began their 8th game the way they started their season, by taking the opening kickoff for a touchdown. Wideout Walter Roberts took the Eagles kick 91 yards for a 7-0 Saints lead, and the only score of the first quarter. Roberts, nicknamed "the Flea" because of his size (5'9, 163-lbs.) and elusiveness, had the afternoon of his career against Philadelphia. After the kickoff return Youth Drew Brees Jersey , the only touchdown return of Roberts' career, he picked up a teammate's fumble and raced 27 yards for a second quarter score and a 14-0 New Orleans lead. The Eagles narrowed the gap with a field goal, and a Norm Snead scoring pass to Jim Kelly later in the quarter, but New Orleans took a 14-10 lead into the halftime break. After kicker Charlie Durkee widened the Saints lead with a 3rd quarter field goal Whitsell, who led the NFL with 10 interceptions on the year, picked off a Snead pass and took it back 41-yds. for a touchdown and a 24-10 New Orleans lead to begin the 4th quarter. Snead, who would throw for 292 yards, 3 touchdowns and 2 interceptions on the day, would hook up with Gary Ballman on a scoring pass to close the Saints lead to 24-17. New Orleans would respond when Roberts scored his third touchdown of the day, catching a 49-yd. scoring pass from Cuozzo on his only reception of the afternoon. A late scoring pass from Snead to Timmy Brown only made the final score respectable, as the New Orleans Saints gave their excited fans the first win in team history with a 31-24 victory. Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY SportsThe Eagles would exact a bit of revenge two weeks later in a rematch against New Orleans, with a 48-21 rout in Philadelphia. The Saints would go on to win two more times in 1967, finishing their inaugural season with a 3-11 record. Cuozzo would eventually lose the starting quarterback job to Kilmer, and get dealt to the Minnesota Vikings after the '67 season, going down in memory as one of the worst trades in New Orleans history. Walter "Flea" Roberts would also leave the Saints after the 1967 season, finishing his final two years with the Washington Redskins. He be awarded the offensive player of the week for his performance against Philadelphia that afternoon. Flea Roberts would score just 11 touchdowns in a six year NFL career, but 3 of them on that special day on November 5th, 1967, as he helped the New Orleans Saints to the thrill of their first ever victory. Custom Dallas Cowboys Jerseys