Plan of Attack for the 2013 NFL Draft – New Orleans Saints
With Free Agency slowing down and many of they key moves already made, it’s time to take a detailed look at each teams acquisitions and losses and gauge a plan of attack for how they should approach the first three rounds of this year’s draft. We’ll start with the Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens and work our way all the way down to the lowly Kansas City Chiefs and the first overall pick. *Page will be updated as more moves are made.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Team Needs: OLB, OT, QB, WR, S
Free Agent Losses: OT Jermon Bushrod, LB Jonathan Casillas, DE Turk McBride, QB Chase Daniel
Free Agent Acquisitions: CB Keenan Lewis, TE Benjamin Watson, DE Kenyon Coleman, LB Victor Butler, DE Junior Galette (resigned), LB Will Herring (resigned), QB Luke McCown, LS Justin Drescher (resigned), LB Ramon Humber (resigned), WR Courtney Roby (resigned), S Jim Leonhard
Potential Round 1 Targets: OLB Barkevious Mingo, OLB Jarvis Jones, OT DJ Fluker, S Kenny Vaccaro, WR Tavon Austin, WR Cordarrelle Patterson
Potential Round 3 Targets: OT David Bakhtiari, OT Jordan Mills, OT Brennan Williams, OT Ricky Wagner, QB Matt Scott, QB Landry Jones, QB Zac Dysert, QB Tyler Bray, S Baccari Rambo, S Philip Thomas, WR Markus Wheaton, WR Stedman Bailey, WR Kenny Stills, OLB Jamie Collins, OLB Brandon Jenkins
Plan of Attack: The Saints are switching to a 3-4 defense this season and are in desperate need of edge pass rushers for it. Where they are sitting at pick 15, they should be able to land either Barkevious Mingo or Georgia’s Jarvis Jones. Mingo would be the top choice and there is a chance he could fall to 15. Mingo is extremely fast and explosive off the ball and should terrorize QBs in the NFC South for many years if the Sants are able to land him. If he’s gone, which is extremely possible, then the team would have to look at Georgia’s Jarvis Jones. Jones had a terrible pro day and ran an offensive lineman like 4.9 in the 40 but he always makes plays on gameday. Jones is a natural and instinctive pass rusher who always seems to be around the QB as he’s about to throw the ball. The Saints also need a left tackle to replace Jermon Bushrod but won’t find one here unless they think DJ Fluker is quick and athletic enough to handle the left side. The Saints could also take one of the best receivers in the draft in Austin or Patterson at pick 15 if they don’t like what they see on defense. They have some age and free agents to be coming up in their receiving corps, and some say the best defense is a good offense, so the team could just get Brees another weapon and watch the scoreboard light up.
The Saints lost their second round pick as punishment for their dasterdly bounty behavior.
The Saints will be looking for a left tackle in round 3 unless they can somehow acquire one another way. Colorado’s David Bakhtiari could be the best one they see available. He’s 6’4 and 300 pounds and moves well for a big man. The Saints could also grab Louisiana Tech’s Jordan Mills or UNC’s Brennan Williams at this point, but in an ideal world you aren’t using a third round pick to protect your franchise QB that you’ve invested millions and millions of dollars in. If the Saints don’t go with a tackle, they could add a wideout. Stedman Bailey from West Virginia, Markus Wheaton from Oregon St., or Kenny Stills from Oklahoma would all be nice fits in their offense. The Saints could also look at a safety like Fresno St.’s Philip Thomas or Georgia’s Baccari Rambo. If they haven’t landed a pass rusher by now, then they could look at FSU’s Brandon Jenkins or Southern Miss’s Jamie Collins if he falls.