Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
whodatworm23

New outlook on team needs... Pre Combine:

Recommended Posts

On the eve of the annual NFL Scouting Combine I’ve taken time to try and gage where things appear to be with this Saints franchise so that I can have a better educated guess on which prospects participating in Indy might be on the Saints radar.

Looking at where we stand as of now Brees clearly will be resigned, Vaccaro is likely off to  another team and Strief is eyeing retirement. There are whispers of the Saints affinity for Jarvis Landry, Michael Thomas openly recruiting the Honey Badger (likely could be released) and mock draft “so called” experts linking the Saints to every tight end in the upcoming draft. What all this tells me is that many in the know believe the Saints will eventually move on from Colby Fleener and that the Saints could very well second think the idea of tagging both Delvin Breaux and Willie Snead at the highest restricted FA tender that would eat up cap space if they can seek better long term improvements elsewhere… if anything the Saints are at least thinking about it.

On to the last FA the Saints have to consider in DE Alex Oakfor, justifiably the Saints should be cautious about overpaying a injury prone player despite his success when he was healthy but the other caveat is the fact that Oakfor’s BFF Kenny Vaccaro was a major reason Oakfor signed with the Saints in 2017 and with Vaccaro likely heading out of town himself it leads me to believe that considering everything involved I would be more inclined to believe that Oakfor will likely not be in a Saints uniform in 2018.

With all this said I’ve reconsidered what I believe to be the Saints top needs heading into this offseason and this is the list I’ve come up with…

#1. SLOT CORNERBACK:
This may come as some surprise to y’all but the Saints MUST find a true SLOT corner for 2018. There is a reason why Vaccaro played more in the slot than PJ Williams for a reason. With Breaux coming back (or not) could potentially replace Ken Crawley on the edge opposite Marshon Lattimore  because that’s Breaux’s best fit. Crawley, while he had a good 2017 season would be a better fit inside at the Nickel and could be given a shot in the slot but his physical nature in his play tells me he’s a better fit at Nickel or on the edge of Breaux isn’t retained. With Vaccaro gone and possibly Breaux, corner becomes a big need for this franchise and I do expect the Saints to possibly not only sign a corner in FA but also potentially draft one as high as the 1st round. Many of us have linked Malcolm Butler to the Saints because of the possible deal with the Pats last year but that was to be the teams top corner. Since then Lattimore was drafted and Crawley had a breakout season. Another corner linked with the Saints last year was the Cowboys Orlando Scandrick who the Saints almost traded Kenny Vaccaro for in 2017. With Vaccaro likely out and Scandrick likely to be released soon, the Saints could once again revisit the idea of adding Scandrick to the roster as he would be a major upgrade to the roster at slot corner. 

#2. LINEBACKER:
In a perfect world the Saints will address their need at slot corner via FA and a top linebacker prospect will fall to them at 27. However a perfect world we do not live in and I believe you create your own luck so if the Saints can address their corner need in FA I can see them getting aggressive in the draft in an effort to upgrade the linebacker position. 

#3. TIGHT END:
There is a reason NFL guys are linking the Saints to a bunch of tight ends in the draft… it’s because we need one! Fleener was a FA bust but Josh Hill had a good year as a receiver while grading out as one of the best blocking tight ends in the NFL in 2017. The Saints donned to replace Fleener with a better receiving threat at the position but luckily for the Saints this is a deep draft for the position where potential impact players can be found in the mid-rounds.

#4. DEFENSIVE END:
This position could rise the latter if Oakfor signs elsewhere (which I’m expecting) but Trey Hendrickson looked good down the stretch so there is promise there. Still, I’m not sold on Kikaha (who the Saints tried to move in 2017) with this new approach on the defensive line and the jury is still out on Muhammad. The Saints were forced to rely on street free agents down the stretch at this position even to the point of having Sheldon Rankins play on the edge majority of the time. There is a bevy of prospects at the position in this draft that fit the profile of what the Saints now want I can see the Saints targeting a player at this position in the 1st round this year at 27… let’s not forget, Jordan was drafted at 24 so top players can be found here at the area of the draft the Saints will be selecting and it’s a position Mickey Loomis values and has drafted to a strength multiple times in the past.

#5. QUARTERBACK:
I’m guessing that many of you figured I’d have quarterback higher on this list… while I do see finding the heir to Brees as a priority I also believe you can’t draft a QB just to fill a need. If the Saints find themselves in a position this year where they have the ability to draft a QB that they feel beyond the shadow of a doubt is a franchise QB then all other needs go out the window and you take the QB and secure your franchises future. What you don’t do is say “well Brees is 39 so we need a QB, let’s take whomever falls to us”. Or “Brees is 39, we need to trade up for a QB simply because we need one” that is how franchises are set back decades. 

#6. WIDE RECEIVER:
Unlike others I don’t view receiver as a major need for this team. The rumors about Jarvis Landry are interesting to me because Landry is sick an excellent fit in this offense the way it’s constructed now. Landry to me is a special circumstance situation that the Saints might try to take advantage of. You need to realize that Brandon Coleman played over 60% of the offensive snaps in 2017 simply because of his blocking ability. Landry is arguably the best blocking receiver in the NFL (I believe he is) so imagine replacing Coleman  in your starting lineup with an even better blocker but also one that is 2nd in receptions in league history since he’s been in the league. On top of that the Saints struggled on 3rd down efficiency in 2017 and Landry was top 10 in the NFL on 3rd down receptions that resulted in 1st downs. Bottom line… Jarvis Landry is the PERFECT player for this offense and I would completely understand and support the Saints pursuit of him. Also, being a Louisiana native, life long Saints fan and LSU star only sweetens the pot for a Landry addition. 

Outside of adding a young dynamic playmaker who’s and excellent fit for our team, I think the Saints will be happy with what they have unless a prospect falls to them in the draft that grades out at a value pick.


Conclusion:
Taking all the above viewpoints into consideration, I will be watching the Upcoming NFL Combine very closely and at the conclusion of it I will create a post on prospects that stood out to me as potential fits for the Saints moving forward.

 

For those watching the combine as well I'll be here in this post if you want to have discussions on what we see.

 

PS: Here are my pre-combine top prospect fits for the Saints IMO for each of these top 6 needs...

 

1. Denzel Ward, CB: Ohio State

2. Rahsaan Evans, LB: Alabama

3. Mike Gesicki, TE: Penn State

4. Bradley Chubb, DE: NC State

5. Josh Rosen, QB: UCLA

6. Courtland Sutton, WR: SMU

 

WHODAT

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with this. We definitely need a receiving TE though, Josh Hill won't cut it.  

Snead was in on some key plays in the playoffs this year, and reminded of the Snead we saw last year.  If that Snead can show up next year, we'll be good there.  As far as Landry goes, I like the guy and have been wanting him as a Saint for a while now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone else see Payton's interview with Sheffty on NFL network where he spoke about the progression of Brees contract situation? 

 

What I thought was intresting was Sheffty's comments on air after Payton was off set... Sheffty commented that our future QB is already in the building with Taysom Hill, very similar to Akimen and Buck's take earilier in the year.

 

You have to imagine that with Payton on set to talk Brees contract and future and reporter like Sheffty would ask about the future of the position beyond Brees (I mean they are at the NFL combine) and for Sheffty to make that comment reguarding Hill immediatly after Payton's interview one would surmise that Sheffty got some inside info there before putting his bame on that comment and it dontt take a rocket scientist to figure out his info came from Payton himself.

 

Now having said all that, as Saints fans we have to view this as Payton using Hill as the biggest smoke screen to throw other clubs off their sent in their pursuit of a quarterback in this draft which if its true then we are likely targeting a QB.

 

Or...

 

We as Saints fans have to come to terms and get onboard with the idea that Payton actually is being honest and views Hill as a prospect good enough to one day take over for Brees. Payton developed Romo into a top tier starting NFL QB from a undrafted free agent, Payton himself was a undrafted overlooked underdogg so I can see the affinity for Hill. If anything this draft will tell us once and for all how Payton truly views Hill moving foward.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hill is not the future.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, JMG5 said:

Hill is not the future.

Or his just using Hill as a way to try and keep Saints fans off his back about drafting another young QB.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure if yall have watched the Combine thus far but let me say that i would be completely onviard with the Saints drafting UFC linebacker Shaquem Griffin in thr 3rd or 4th round! Hes the player with 1 hand, 20 reps on the bench, 4.38 in the 40 and clean and explosive in the field drills.

 

Very impressive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If Hassan Reddick is a 1st round r...I can’t see why Griffin isn’t. Griffin is better in every way (except having one less hand). 

I love the LB class. There is a ton of depth at LB, TE, QB, and WR. Luckily for the Saints...I think that the Saints could use one of each (at least). 

I hope the Saints can find a way to get LVE, S. Griffin, and Mata’afa. All three are really underrated and will help this defense  get over the top. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, sammymvpknight said:

If Hassan Reddick is a 1st round r...I can’t see why Griffin isn’t. Griffin is better in every way (except having one less hand). 

I love the LB class. There is a ton of depth at LB, TE, QB, and WR. Luckily for the Saints...I think that the Saints could use one of each (at least). 

I hope the Saints can find a way to get LVE, S. Griffin, and Mata’afa. All three are really underrated and will help this defense  get over the top. 

Reddick was a different animal... could rush off the edge and was the best interior off ball coverage linebacker in that draft. Ha also was 6'2 240 lbs. While I LOVE Griffin, he is still an undersized linebacker with 1 hand and teams will absoutley hold that into consideration along with everything else he did at the combine. I believe that Griffin was a 5th to 6th round prospect heading into the combine but now should be viewed as a 3rd or 4th round prospect with an outside shot at being a top 50 pick.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, whodatworm23 said:

Reddick was a different animal... could rush off the edge and was the best interior off ball coverage linebacker in that draft. Ha also was 6'2 240 lbs. While I LOVE Griffin, he is still an undersized linebacker with 1 hand and teams will absoutley hold that into consideration along with everything else he did at the combine. I believe that Griffin was a 5th to 6th round prospect heading into the combine but now should be viewed as a 3rd or 4th round prospect with an outside shot at being a top 50 pick.

Griffin had better production as a pass rusher. They are roughly the same size. Griffin may only have one hand but he is much more instinctive in coverage. I think that Griffin is going to be incredibly underrated going into the draft. It’s a steal if he’s there in the 3rd. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, sammymvpknight said:

Griffin had better production as a pass rusher. They are roughly the same size. Griffin may only have one hand but he is much more instinctive in coverage. I think that Griffin is going to be incredibly underrated going into the draft. It’s a steal if he’s there in the 3rd. 

I see the two of having slightly different body types... Reddick being a little longer and taller but I agree they have similar skill sets but I can gaurentee you that no GM will put they job on the line for a 1 handed linebacker in the 1st round reguardless of his tape or combine workout. In the 2nd round the positional value and risk is still high to me. I feel he's a 3rd rounder, for the Saints I would hold off till the Fouth round simply due to us not having our second rounder. The Saints will have to be picky this year, I actually believe that our top pick will end up being a defensive end or linebacker.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  



×