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PFF 'compliments' Saints by ranking roster in middle of pack

Pro Football Focus ranked the New Orleans Saints' roster as the 16th bestInsider among NFL teams, which is actually a compliment compared to how most outlets have been rating the Saints this offseason.

I wrote this year about how the Saints’ star has been falling after back-to-back 7-9 seasons. They rank among the bottom teams in the league in Las Vegas odds and various power rankings. Even PFF recently predicted them to finish 5-11.

However, the Saints fared decently well in PFF’s annual ranking of teams' overall roster talent.

That didn’t surprise me, because I know how high the analytical scouting service is on certain Saints like left tackle Terron Armstead, cornerback Delvin Breaux and new defensive tackle Nick Fairley. And sure enough, they have all three of those players ranked among New Orleans' top five, along with quarterback Drew Brees and defensive end Cameron Jordan.

PFF is down on the Saints' starting trio of linebackers, including new middle linebacker James Laurinaitis. However, the Saints signed Laurinaitis primarily for his ability to line guys up as the "quarterback" of the defense -- something that might not be reflected in PFF’s rating system.

The Saints are banking that Laurinaitis can help raise the grade of everyone on a defense that has struggled so much over the past two seasons.