Afternoon observations on the Saints

METAIRIE, La. -- I’ll have a lengthy column in the next few days on New Orleans SaintsMalcolm Jenkins and how he’s making the transition from cornerback to safety, but first we’ve got a bit of news on the first-round pick from 2009.

Jenkins missed Saturday morning’s minicamp practice because of a knee contusion, coach Sean Payton said. Jenkins had worked as the first-team free safety in Friday’s sessions. But Payton said Jenkins bumped knees with a teammate Friday afternoon. Payton also said the injury is minor and he said it was possible Jenkins could practice this afternoon or in Sunday morning’s final minicamp practice.

A few other observations:

  • Just overheard former New Orleans quarterback Bobby Hebert, who is sitting right behind me, bring up a good point on his show on WWL Radio. The Saints presently have Chase Daniel working as their holder. It’s been obvious Friday and Saturday that there are some issues there. Daniel, a reserve quarterback, has had trouble handling some snaps. Besides that, Daniel probably is going to be the third quarterback this season and the Saints don’t want to have to use a game-day roster spot on a holder. Backup quarterback Mark Brunell handled the holding duties last year, but has not been re-signed. The Saints may bring in a veteran quarterback at some point and that player could also be a holder. But, ideally, the Saints would like punter Thomas Morstead to handle the holding duties. The Saints didn’t have Morstead do that last season because they wanted to allow him to concentrate on punting. But it makes a lot of sense for a punter to be the holder because he and the kicker have lots of time to work together during practice.

  • It’s interesting to see fullback Heath Evans back on the practice field after missing much of last season with an injury. Evans is never going to put up huge stats simply because of the nature of his position. But his presence gives the rest of the offense a lot more flexibility because Evans does so many little things well.

  • Rookie tight end Jimmy Graham has been drawing a lot of attention in minicamp. The third-round pick remains a very raw prospect because he played only one season of college football after playing basketball. But it’s obvious Graham has excellent athletic skills and lots of potential.

  • Strong-side linebacker isn’t a flashy position, but that’s where the Saints have the best competition going on. I’ve seen Jo-Lonn Dunbar and Troy Evans each getting first-team work at the spot that came open when Scott Fujita left as a free agent. But don’t go writing either of those guys in as a starter just yet. They both are viable candidates, but the Saints also have added Clint Ingram, who previously started in Jacksonville. Two other young players -- Jonathan Casillas and Stanley Arnoux -- also could factor in. Don’t look for this one to be settled until late in the preseason.