Kristian: Hokie sizes up the Saints Draft needs
The NFL Draft is right around the corner, and who will hear their name called when the Saints go on the clock with the 27th pick in round one? It’s truly anyone’s guess. Heck, Coach Sean Payton and General Manager, Mickey Loomis won’t have an idea until around pick twenty-two.
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“With the moves they’ve made in the off-season, they’re doing exactly what they’ve done in the past, and that’s get in the position to take the best player available,” explained Saints Color Analyst Hokie Gajan. The Saints have the luxury of picking the best available after signing Jarius Byrd and Champ Bailey in free agency along with a few other shrewd moves by Loomis and the front office.
I tend to lean to a offensive selection; the Saints could be targeting the wide receiver position with their first pick. The average age of the starters on the Saints offense is 28.8 years old, and that’s the oldest starting offensive line up in the league. Keep in mind, QB Drew Brees is 35 years old, so the number is tilted a bit.
“I don’t look at it now like they’ve got glaring holes anywhere. The Saints are in the position right now where they can truly take the best player available,” continued Gajan. The former Saints running back and scout wouldn’t venture a guess as to where the Saints might be leaning with their first round selection.
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LSU has a ton of draft hopefuls, and several that are expected to be selected in the first three rounds Thursday and Friday. The Saints currently don’t have a Tiger on the roster but running back Jeremy Hill might be a target. Gajan says he’s not as high on the bruising runner as some: “I don’t think he’s a make-you-miss kind of guy, there is definitely a role for him in the NFL, but it has to be the right round.”
The Saints have spent a considerable amount of energy and money this off-season adding youth to the defensive side of the football. The Saints have drafted a defensive players with each of their last six first picks in the draft. The last time the Saints selected an offensive player with their first round pick was in 2007, ironically with the 27th pick (WR Robert Meachem).