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New Orleans Saints 2013 Breakout Player Projections

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November 11, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints defensive end Martez Wilson (95) celebrates with defensive end Cameron Jordan (94) after a sack against the Atlanta Falcons during the first half of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints had a really disappointing 2012 season, due large in part to the absence of head coach Sean Payton. After the discoveries of the league regarding “Bountygate”, the Saints were handed some serious punishments and that one probably cost them more than any.

Not having a head coach can really be a detriment to a team. It’s like trying to go to school and learn the same subject with a bunch of substitute teachers who all know that they aren’t going to have the job for more than a couple of weeks.

Maybe that analogy only makes sense to me, but either way, not having Payton torched the Saints last year, so the NFL can consider its mission accomplished.

With a revamped roster and a new defensive look, the Saints should be on their way back to prominence in 2013. Sean Payton is back with the team, and Drew Brees should be back to his old self after an odd 2012 season where he was pretty inconsistent and threw more INTs than normal.

Here are three players that I feel could break out this year for the Saints, and we’ll take a look at one player from each of the last three draft classes.

Third Year — Martez Wilson, LB

The change to the 3-4 defensive alignment might benefit Martez Wilson more than any player on the Saints’ roster. Mis-cast as a defensive end playing in the Saints’ 4-man front, I think Wilson has a chance to make a huge impact as a pass rushing linebacker, even if it’s only situational in year three.

Right now, he is slotted behind former Dallas Cowboy Victor Butler at the LOLB spot in the Saints’ defense, but this is a guy with excellent size and athletic ability to come off the edge. Depending on how the Saints choose to use Wilson this year, I think he has a chance to be an 8-10 sack kind of player. He has just four sacks so far in his NFL career, but like I said before, he hasn’t quite been used correctly.

Of the class of 2011, Wilson has the best chance to break out this year since Cameron Jordan already had a big time breakout season last year.

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