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Ranking Saints needs: No. 10 Tight end

A position-by-position look at where the New Orleans Saints stand heading into the 2015 offseason -- ranked from 1-12 in order of the team’s need for upgrades or replacements.

Current depth chart:

Jimmy Graham: Age 28, signed through 2017. 2015 salary and bonuses: $8 million. 2015 salary-cap number: $11 million.

Benjamin Watson: Age 34, signed through 2015. 2015 salary and bonuses: $1.5 million. 2015 salary-cap number: $1.9 million.

Josh Hill: Age 24, scheduled to become restricted free agent in 2016. 2015 salary and bonuses: $585,000. 2015 salary-cap number: $586,668.

Orson Charles: Age 23, scheduled to become restricted free agent in 2016. 2015 salary: $585,000. 2015 salary-cap number: unverified, but believed to be $585,000.

Analysis:

There’s no urgent need to upgrade this position -- except for the need to get Graham back to a dominating level after a 2014 season that was far too ordinary. Hill is a rising young backup who scored five touchdowns in a limited role this past season, and could take on a slightly larger role in 2015. And Watson remains a solid all-around tight end who is the best blocker of the bunch.

I don’t think the Saints would go looking for a replacement for Watson in free agency, though it’s possible since he’s 34 now. And it wouldn’t be surprising at all to see New Orleans add a tight end at any stage of the draft. So far, though, there isn’t much buzz about any tight ends being worthy of the No. 13 overall pick.

ESPN scouting insider Matt Williamson’s take:

"Graham’s still a stud. He’s a tough eval for me, because he’s so great, but I feel like he’s so tough and so competitive – and I don’t know him, but the way he plays, I think he plays with a lot of injuries. It was certainly true at the end of last year. And it shows, because as the season goes on, he’s less and less effective. But the bar is so high, 75 percent of Jimmy Graham is still a really good player. And Hill’s a decent player, too. I mean, he’s not a slouch."

(on whether the Saints need a true No. 1 receiver) "I don’t think Graham’s a No. 2 when right. I think he’s a true No. 1, and really him and Gronk (New England’s Rob Gronkowski) are the only tight ends I would say that about."

Previous rankings:

No. 12: Specialists

No. 11: Quarterback