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Stanford in the NFL: Cardinal Alum Coby Fleener could be a Pro-Bowler with the New Orleans Saints

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Stanford Cardinal Alum Coby Fleener had a solid run with Andrew Luck and the Colts, but his career could reach new heights with Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints.

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The Saints and Drew Brees no longer have to search for a big man running down the seam, as New Orleans and ex-Colt tight end Coby Fleener agreed to a five-year and $36 million contract deal. This was a much-needed addition for the Saints who are entering 2016 without 12-year tight end Benjamin Watson (now with the Ravens) and wide receiver Marques Colston. Coby Fleener's size and impressive speed will make him Brees new favorite target as we've seen how well tight ends can produce in this Saints offense. However besides a potential breakout career with the Saints, when you turn on the film you'll see why Fleener is worth the money.

Over the last four years in Indianapolis Fleener has made himself a household name. Teamed up with college quarterback Andrew Luck, the duo had become a red alert on defense's scouting reports with their ability to always connect. Fleener's flexibility to line up as a receiver or just come off the line allowed him to torch safeties and linebackers for deep balls. The result is Fleener hauling in 183 passes, 2,154 yards, and 17 touchdowns in his career. Fleener has the skill to become elite in a system with a future hall of famer quarterback like Drew Brees, who thrives on having a tight end as his primary target.

Coby Fleener will not be the only weapon that Drew Brees will have as wideouts Willie Snead and Brandin Cooks have emerged as threats in the NFL. Cooks made himself the No.1 guy as he gained 1,138 yards and found the endzone nine times. Willie Snead came out of nowhere adding 984 yards and three touchdowns, making New Orleans passing offense No.1 in the NFL. With the addition of Coby Fleener the Saints have the ability to pick up where they left off and surpass 2015's numbers. Cooks, Snead, and Fleener will all benefit from each other mainly because most defenses will not be able to match up with the combination of speed, strength, and size. Fleener will not only play decoy but will have a lot more open looks with defensive coordinators trying to guard Cooks and Snead due to their speed. As speed will hurt defenses it leaves Fleener most likely one on one with a linebacker or safety and that's where he shines the most. Fleener's combination of speed and size makes him hard to guard let alone keep up with.

The Saints also needed a tight end not only in their passing game, but to assist in the run block as well. Throughout Fleener's college career at Stanford, he was one of those huge tight ends that would line up and destroy whoever was in front of him off the edge. Stanford's downhill and smash mouth style of play helped Fleener improve on his run-block skills before the NFL. Due to the need of an improvement in the run game New Orleans now has someone that is use to doing the dirty work off the line. With Fleener's capability to be a run blocker, that will allow Mark Ingram to gain more in 2016 than the 769 yards in his 2015 campaign. When New Orleans can get the ball moving on the ground and support the passing game, a lot more defenses will stay true to the box leaving more opportunities for explosive plays in the pass game.

Fleener will make a huge impact for the Saints as soon as he touches the field. The more one on one situations the Saints can put Fleener in the better he is. Fleener's upside also makes him a huge redzone threat that will put much needed points on the board for New Orleans. His speed, size, and all-pro skill set can make him a pro bowl tight end this year.