This week I will be breaking down the Saints needs (in my opinion) and where they stand as far as the draft goes. The Saints have lost a few people to free agency, but those people are not irreplaceable. The worst one was definitely the Kromer/Bushrod to the Bears combination. A solid left tackle going to another team, along with a good offensive line coach. I think the Saints offensive line will still be among the best, but not quite the best like they have been in recent years.
As of now, the Saints have five total picks in the draft: The 15th overall pick, 75th overall pick (third round), 109th pick overall (fourth round), 144th pick overall (fifth round), and pick 183 (sixth round). While I would like to have that second rounder back, I can understand why they won't get it back. This draft is definitely a defensive draft with the multitudes of great talent to choose from so late in the draft.
First Round, Pick 15: The New Orleans Saints select...
Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU. I really want to put Dion Jordan here, but since he had a good combine, I don't see him falling to no. 15 overall. Although he did have recent shoulder surgery that prevented him from working at his pro day so you never know what could happen. Mingo is a close second to Jordan though from what I have seen first-hand when I watch SEC football. Mingo is tall, athletic, and he possesses the speed needed to get to the passer, and that's ultimately what gets a DE drafted so high.
Third Round, Pick 75: The New Orleans Saints select...Tyrann Mathieu, DB, LSU. How cool would it be to have 2 huge playmakers from the same National Championship-caliber defense on the field for your team? This is a good possibility considering what happened with Mathieu prior to the 2012 season. I don't really care what people say about this dude's issues because when it comes to football, this guy can flat-out play. I still contend that he will be the biggest steal of the draft for whatever team is lucky to get him.
***My alternate pick to this one is Darius Slay, CB from Mississippi State. Flew under the radar for the most part because Johnthan Banks was stealing the show in Starkville. That being said, he was recognized enough to be invited to the combine where he absolutely killed it. Ran a 4.37 in the 40 (tied for the best with Dee Milliner) and just owned his drills; Slay would be a great pick for the Saints if Tyrann isn't there.
Fourth Round, Pick 109: The New Orleans Saints select...Terron Armstead, OT, Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Since Bushrod's departure from the Saints, the team is most likely thinking of a way to replace him. I have seen rumors floating where New Orleans is targeting Bryant McKinnie from the Ravens as a replacement. While that is a good sign if Mickey Loomis can get him, there will still need to be depth at the position. Armstead ran a blazing 4.71-40 yard dash at the combine, making him not only the fastest OT, but faster than some tight ends there which is insane. If the Saints drafted this guy, he could make a huge impact down the line, or even immediately. Not only would they have a more athletic left tackle (or potentially right tackle if the Saints sign McKinnie), they would shore up the offensive line very quickly. The team has a knack for drafting later-round talent, and Armstead could surely continue the trend.
Fifth Round, Pick 144: The New Orleans Saints select...Phillip Thomas, S, Fresno State. A somewhat underrated Safety from Fresno State, Thomas was a Jim Thorpe runner-up. Had a great 2012 season with the Bulldogs, racking up 82 total tackles, 4 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery, and 8 interceptions. What those stats show me is that he's a ball-hawk that knows what to do when the ball is in the air. Being able to potentially compete as a starter right from the get-go, Thomas would definitely add depth to a very porous position on the Saints defense.
Sixth Round, Pick 183: The New Orleans Saints select...Tyler Bray, QB, Tennessee. Talented dude with pretty good upside, Bray was really good at Tennessee during his tenure with the team. The departure of Chase Daniel leaves a big hole in the backup QB spot. If Brees went down in the first game, the Saints would be sunk until he got back. Bray could be a very good backup to Brees, because he knows how to not turn the ball over so much. In his 3 years with the Volunteers, Bray totaled 69 touchdowns, 28 interceptions, 7,444 yards, and 58.2% completion. That tells me that he's not the most accurate passer in the world, but he can get the job done if he needs to. Sitting behind a future hall-of-famer doesn't hurt, either. I would rather have Bray than Canfield or some other chump QB, and I hope the Saints feel the same way.
Would love to know your thoughts, and maybe even a Saints draft that you came up with!
I really like your thinking in the 3rd round, but I got a feeling that there are at least 3 teams in the NFC South , that draft ahead of us in the 2nd round. The idea of Tyrann Mathieu coupled with Barkievious Mingo may cause those 3 alone to pause and ask themselves. Do we really want Rex Ryan to have both of these guys lining up against us in one of his many bag full of exotic defensive tricks for twice a year. REALLY.. I MEAN.... REALLY..REALLY .. it is a nice thought but I would be be shocked beyond all recognition if the football Gods allowed that to happen . But then again nobody thought, Brees would have been allowed to leave Miami, or Houston was going to pass on Bush, so maybe lighting can strike twice. Mathieu beyond what you might think about his personal choices is a flat out baller and beast on the football field. And if any 2 coaches can identify with proving people wrong it would be Ryan & Payton. My hope and prayer is if he is there and that is a big if,the Saints will be the ones that give him a shot at redemption.
@askmetostay323 Thanks bro. I don't think Bray will be long gone. From what I've seen and heard, he's the last rated QB.
Way to high for Mathieu. In the 6th round, I could maybe get behind it. He could well be a UDFA also, though I expect someone will take a late flyer on him.
@cajuncommando58 DId you see his combine workouts? They were good. and his interviews were very well done. There's no way he makes it out of the third round.
I have no idea on the #15 pick...
The 3rd round pick... Yes Mathieu. If he is good we can trade Jenkins. I really disagree with Juge on this. He does not like him, I do. And that is about the time that Juge is contradicting himself saying yesterday we NEED a playmaker and then passing on a 3rd round gamble on Mathieu. I mean if you can get a playmaker like him at round 3.. he surely is worth the risk. I do not see him going early 3rd round. That is reserved for the fallout from guys not choosen in the 2nd round who were projected there. pick #11 in round 3 is a solid place to grab him. You alternate pick for a CB is not a correct one if the Saints can get Nnamdi.
Round 4. I agree to. Get an OT. Get one in free agency for a year and then groom your mid round Oline pick to be a pro bowler... i mean.. If anyone can do that it would be the Saints, plenty of examples. If we can get him that would be nice. Imagine yourself a jumbo formation in which an extra OT comes in to play as a 3rd TE... Elligable reciever... That guy runs like hell and all of the defense is surprised. Now if he has some good hands... it is a sure TD.
5th round. Well sure get the guys that are the best. But not an other backfield draft. We signed a CB and maybe Nnamdi, we agreed on drafting a secondary guy in the 3rd round... now do not make it over crowded and draft an other guy. I see the Saints going OLB or NT here.
Round 6. Basically what I discussed in rnd 4 and 5. You need guys at those positions. Draft the best one available at the moment youcan draft. OT/NT/OLB any of those 3. As to your pick.. I am convinced the Saints are going like this: If Brees goes down, the season is over! No Saints fan expects the Saints to win a game when he is down. So whoever is backup it does not matter as long as he is cheap. We are not looking for a guy for the future since Brees has I hope 7 or 8 more years in him. And he at least has 4 years in him (and that is what is left on his contract). So... Get a rookie, undrafted that is any quality. He is really cheap. Otherwise if some more cap money is left you can always go with a recently dumped free agent or get Tebow or Favre...
@MarijnPessers there's still a character requirement to be on the Saints. This is a value Sean Payton has always observed. Mathieu does not meet it.
@SaintsNation The guy was young and smoked pot. Stupid as an athlete but kids without proper supervision make mistakes, especially if you come from nothing and then become a national star. Can be a bit too much too handle. Reggie Bush did not turn out to be the most under control guy either. (While Ingram obviously is). Give Matieu the proper supervision and he will be fine. Teach him humility.
May I remind you I have not seen Vick fight any dogs of late. People whose whole world collapses because of stupid things done tend to change. (Also I am not that familiar with it but I have not seen Ray Lewis kill anybody lately)
@MarijnPessers Thomas would be a great value pick for later in the Draft. I don't see why people think Tyrann is a safety when he played nickel corner in college. He's a corner that CAN play safety, but we all know what happened when the Saints drafted a corner to play safety. I say get Thomas, because his numbers tell it all. He's a great player for the round I have him going in. As far as Bray goes, this is the best pick in my opinion. Bray is a proven QB in college that can manage the game if anything happens to Brees. The DL free agent group is a deep one, so I figure the Saints can add a veteran backup to Brodrick Bunkley to keep the rotation fresh. Saints don't really need any OLBs. I'm not too worried about the linebackers this year with Hawthorne, Vilma, Martez Wilson, Lofton, herring, and Chamberlain.
I don't see either LSU guy going to the Saints, honestly. I still think a team will gamble on Mingo before 15. I'm thinking Bjoern Werner at #15. I don't hate the idea of Bray being picked last, would be a good development project.