By James Parks
The New Orleans Saints continue to embark on their latest offseason workouts to prepare for the coming year by taking part in their latest phase of organized team activities, most recently taking the team indoors to get away from the unforgiving heat and log their practice reps in the air conditioned splendor of their practice facility in Metairie.
Among the most important jobs facing head coach Sean Payton and his assistants during these practices is to gauge the progress of the Saints rookie class, to judge how far along the new players are coming, in what positions and situations they place their best and worst, and how best to acclimate the first year players into a roster that already feels like one of the best in football.
Marcus Davenport, the first round edge rusher selection made by the team after a surprising trade with the Green Bay Packers on the first night of the NFL Draft, appears poised to take the biggest role among the rookies, with coaches saying they have plans to slot him in as a featured right defensive end to rush the pass from the blind side. But other rookies, including wide receiver TreQuan Smith and offensive lineman Will Clapp, a New Orleans native and LSU product, are also ready to assume notable responsibilities, judging by their heavy involvement in the Saints practice reps.
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