After the Super Bowl, football fans wait for the first sign of the new season- free agency and the NFL draft. The first round of the NFL Draft is May 8th, with big names such as Johnny “Football” Manziel and Jadeveon Clowney. With these two players out of the Saints’ reach, Who Dats are wondering who the new addition to the roster will be.
General Manager Mickey Loomis has been hard at work this offseason in what may be the most active offseason the Saints have seen yet. A lot of this year’s moves have been dedicated to re-vamping the defense, giving Rob Ryan the tools he needs to make the Saints #1 in the league on his side of the ball. With all the players Loomis has released and signed, what are the Saints biggest need going into the Draft?
This year, the New Orleans Saints pick 27th in the draft, which is not a bad spot to be picking. In my last article, I wrote about how the Saints should trade down this draft. I see the Saints possibly acquiring more picks if at #27 the Saints aren’t interested in someone specific.
In this article, I will highlight what I believe are the main needs the Saints should address in this year’s draft. Assuming that the Saints are able to pick up someone in the first round and not trade down, this is how I would like it to play out.
The position first to take care of in my opinion is offensive tackle. Although the Saints re-signed veteran Zach Strief, I still feel like the Saints could use another guy at this position. Last year, Strief failed to make the Pro Bowl, which was a little disappointing. His age and past injuries can be a risky factor for the Saints and having a backup on the roster would be a smart move.
I definitely think Strief could be useful to teach a rookie or young guy the ropes, since he has a lot of experience with the team. I think the Saints could use a younger, faster player in this position. Strief seems to have slowed down and was plagued by injury last season. Hopefully, he can have a better year this season.
Terron Armstead is a very good player. He proved himself last year when Sean Payton pulled Charles Brown from the playbook. I look forward to seeing him develop over the years, but as of now I don’t believe he has enough battle wounds. He is a young player who has a lot to learn. The advantages of bringing in a new offensive tackle is helping Armstead feel a little at ease knowing that he has a backup, yet at the same time someone pushing him for the starting job.
Strief will be a great role model and leader for Armstead, and a new player, if the Saints decide to go this route. I could see this developing into something well worth it for the Saints. I would feel more comfortable if the Saints picked up another offensive tackle to be there for these guys as a safety measure.
Drew Brees was sacked 36 times last season, which is the most he’s been sacked in a single season. I think this shows perfectly what the Saints’ biggest need is – protection for Drew, in the form of a tackle. Like I mentioned in a previous article, I really like the looks of Morgan Moses, standout from Virginia.
In the later rounds the Saints should focus on bringing in a center. With Brian De La Puente no longer around, the Saints need some serious talent to take of the void left.
In my opinion, the Saints should not focus on picking up another wide receiver until the later rounds, unless an amazing player is available at #27. The team is well equipped on the receiving front with guys like Marques Colston, Jimmy Graham, Andy Tanner, Kenny Stills, Nick Toon, and newly re-signed Robert Meachem. This is probably the most talented and impressive position on the squad.
Lastly, the Saints need to start thinking about bringing in someone to start training under Drew Brees. Who Dats may hate talking about this subject, but one day Brees will be no longer and the Saints will need someone to fill his gargantuan shoes.
Although they have been busy so far this offseason, the New Orleans Saints organization cannot rest easy yet. There are still many positions to fill and add too before the start of the 2014-2015 season. However, the future is looking brighter with the moves general manager Mickey Loomis has already made.