316 touchdowns, 142 games and one Super Bowl ring later and the end could be near for New Orleans’ favourite Saint.
By drafting Colorado State Quarterback, Garrett Grayson in the third round of the NFL Draft on Saturday the Saints clearly put into motion their plans to replace legendary signal caller, Drew Brees.
A lasting legacy
On December 31st 2005, Brees suffered a torn labrum attempting to recover his own fumble in the Chargers' season finale against the Denver Broncos. He became a free agent and eventually landed in New Orleans and neither party ever looked back.
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As one of the premier quarterbacks in the league since then, Brees has helped not only breathe life into one of the nation’s lowliest NFL franchises, but also helped to revive a city destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.
As arguably the greatest player in the team’s 48 year history, you would think his status was untouchable. This off-season seemingly suggests otherwise though, with trade rumours dominating news since a disappointing 7-9 record left the Saints watching the playoffs from home.
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Despite being unfazed by said rumours, Brees watched his team take Garrett Grayson with the 75th overall pick, in the third round of this weekend’s draft.
Next in line?
Grayson started 35 games over his four years at Colorado State and holds school records for yards, touchdowns, completions and completion percentage.
The Saints passed on consensus higher rated prospects in Baylor’s Bryce Petty and UCLA star Brett Hundley to take Grayson - the latter likely to sit and learn in New Orleans until his times comes; a situation which may be perfect for him as NFL scouts compare his game to that of the man he may eventually unseat.
"He throws with anticipation, which is rare for a college quarterback these days. He won't overwhelm with his physical traits, but I think the whole is better than the composite parts. He has a game similar to Drew Brees." - Mike Mayock
Grayson was the Saints fourth selection in what was a largely defensive draft class. Only three of their nine picks came on the offensive side of the ball, with Missouri running back Marcus Murphy rounding off the class in the seventh round after the Saints first pick at 13 overall was spent on Andreas Peat, an offensive tackle out of Stanford.
Future for Brees?
How much longer Brees will be protected by the new look Saints offensive line is the question.
Indeed, both his age and recent performances coming under scrutiny. His numbers may not have dropped, with a league topping 4,952 passing yards last season, but it’s his decision making causing the problems at times. Big interceptions in big moments worrying fans and ultimately costing the team on numerous occasions.
Now whether those mistakes were all on Brees is another matter, but with a seemingly improved supporting cast this coming season, his time in the driving seat of the Saints organisation could be drawing to an end.
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