Kristian: Saints targeting receiver spot in round one
The 2014 NFL draft is a little more than one week away, and the Saints are likely settling in on a “cloud” or a “cluster” of players that might be available to them with the 27th pick in round one next Thursday night.
General Manager Mickey Loomis and Sean Payton have done a terrific job this off-season of filling the needs during free agency, providing them the chance to truly select the highest graded player on their board. What positions could the team address when they go on the clock in the first round? NFL draft analyst Mike Detillier says he expects New Orleans to look long and hard at the offensive side of the football: “Wide Receiver, a deep threat is where I suspect the team to go,” Detillier explained.
The question then becomes, will a player they like be there with the 27th pick? Detillier doesn’t think the Saints can sit still. “I think if they stay put, it’s a defensive player. If they move up, a small trade right up the board to get a guy like Marqise Lee from USC.” Lee visited the Saints early in the pre-draft visiting period earlier this month. Most mock drafts have Lee going in the late teens to early twenties picks in round one.
Jordan Mathews is a player to keep an eye on if the Saints don’t move up the board and trade in the first round. Mathews was a standout with Vanderbilt and had an impressive showing at the Senior Bowl. “He put them back on the football map offensively,” Detillier said. “If you don’t respect him, man, he’ll beat you deep”. Detillier describes Mathews as a possession-type receiver more than a deep threat. “The Saints are looking for a guy that can take the top off the coverage, someone that can hit the homerun.” explained Detillier.
Later rounds: The Saints have typically done better in the Draft in the middle to late rounds in terms of finding talent. I wouldn’t be surprised to the see the Saints draft two wide receivers on May 8th, 9th, and 10th. Coach Sean Payton has often said he prefers the bigger wide receivers to fit his offense. Joe Morgan is back with the Saints a one year deal, but coming off an ACL injury last summer and is no lock to make the roster, as the teams primary deep threat.