The NFL Draft is four weeks away and there is a lot of speculation about who will be the first pick, where certain players will go, and what moves teams will make.
There is always a negative connotation when talking about an NFL team trading down. Of course, the better players are available in the first and second rounds. However, teams have found many bargains and surprises in later rounds, and this makes the case for trading down. A team that needs a lot of help can fulfill their needs with more picks in later rounds.The goal is not to see how high you can pick, but rather to secure a spot where your team can get a pick that will provide an impact.
What do the New Orleans Saints need this year? While they’ve had success in beefing up their secondary with the signing of Jairus Byrd, Champ Bailey, and matching Atlanta’s offer sheet for Rafael Bush, they could use help strengthening the offensive line. I can make an argument for them trading picks for veterans. It only seems logical for the Saints to add some veterans onto the offensive line to compliment Zach Strief and Terron Armstead.
The Saints could also use help at the center position after Brian De La Puente signed with Chicago. I don’t see this being a priority for the Saints until the later rounds of the draft. The centers that are worthy of drafting are not going to go until the second round or later. The Saints also have to start thinking about an apprentice quarterback to train under Drew Brees.
With this many needs, trading down could provide the Saints an opportunity to fill some of these positions.The Saints’ staff has done a great job over the past two years of gathering the best talent to make up a scary defense. With the 27th pick in the 2014 Draft, they have many options for trading down.
Players who are available in the second or third round could be just as talented as a first round pick. This might be what the Saints need. For instance, Morgan Moses, an offensive tackle from Virginia, is expected to go in the first round. Would it be a wise choice to keep the 27th pick and hope he is still available or trade down and count on having talented guys in the other rounds?
Once the Saints have taken care of the offensive line, I see them getting a cornerback. Yes, the Saints just signed Champ Bailey, but some believe, due to his age and injury history, this signing may have been a gamble. Remember, earlier this offseason the team released Jabari Greer. The only cornerback left is Patrick Robinson who still has a lot of work to do. Because of this, New Orleans may want to consider looking for another corner.
The best situation would be for the Saints to trade down and acquire extra picks, to focus on what they really need. Mickey Loomis has already done a fabulous job of squeezing in as many players as he could, given the salary cap constraints. A lot of familiar faces have gone and some exciting prospects have come.
Who Dats are excited about seeing how these newcomers can help the team. Rob Ryan’s second year should be an exciting one. After the performance we saw his first year, I am ready to see how he builds up his defense after his first draft with the Saints.
I feel as though this offseason has been the most productive one in awhile that the Saints have had and I am very curious to see how it will pay off in the 2014-2015 season.