|ESPN.com: NFC South||[Print without images]|
Our next stop in the team-by-team mailbags is the New Orleans Saints.
Rum in N'awlins writes: Hey Pat, Just curious abut the Saints trading down in this draft. I can see the Lions trying to do what the Browns did a couple of drafts ago--take an OL at #1, then move up from #20 to take one of the 2 top QBs. With the Saints sitting @ #14 (and a possible chance at both QBs) and similar defensive talent probably available #20, think Detroit (5 picks in top 100) has any interest in trading up with the Saints?
Pat Yasinskas: I'm sure Mickey Loomis and Sean Payton, who hold only four draft picks at the moment, will listen to any team that would give them more picks. Not saying it will definitely happen, because you have to make sure you're getting good value if you trade and you might be trading out of a spot where you can get a player you really want. But I think it makes a lot of sense for the Saints to at least consider any offer in which they would add some draft picks.
Shane, Larose, LA writes: Have you heard anything or do you have any opinion on any running backs that the Saints may be targeting to replace Deuce McAllister? Or do you think it's more likely they will look to the draft for a workhorse back?
Pat Yasinskas: I know there's a lot of speculation out there about Fred Taylor and Edgerrin James. But I don't think that's the way to go. The Saints parted with McAllister because he was near the end of his career. James and Taylor are in the same boat. I think it makes sense to go younger at this position, and it doesn't necessarily have to be a big name or high draft pick. Pierre Thomas has shown he can handle a pretty substantial workload and Reggie Bush still is going to factor in. I think what the Saints need is a big back, who can pick up first downs in short-yardage situations.
M Brown in Burlington writes: I heard a rumour that LT could end up with the Black & Gold in the Cajun City (especially after cutting McAllister). Any truth to him reuniting with Drew Brees?
Pat Yasinskas: Not sure that LaDainian Tomlinson even will be available, but I seriously doubt he'll end up with the Saints if the Chargers do make him available. The Saints don't have much cap room and it would be tough to fit him in without releasing half the roster. Also, the Saints don't have much to offer in a trade. I think they'll get another running back elsewhere.
Jay in Chicago, IL writes: Is there any chance Deuce could come back to the Saints either as a player at minimum salary, or in some coaching capacity if he doesn't get picked up elsewhere?
Pat Yasinskas: Never rule out anything in the NFL, but I think the possibility of playing at a minimum salary probably already was discussed with McAllister and it didn't happen. I think this was about much more than money. McAllister wants a chance to contribute and that obviously wasn't going to happen in New Orleans. I'm guessing he goes somewhere else and plays a year or two. As far as eventually becoming a coach, I would think that's a possibility. McAllister is held in high regard by the entire Saints organization. If he wants to pursue a career in coaching, I think the Saints certainly would consider that.
Ben in Metairie, LA writes: Hey Pat I know that the moves the Saints make in free agency will dictate what they do in the draft but do you think the saints will just take the best player available at the 14 or will they try and trade back to get some more picks? It just doesn't seem like there is much elite talent at that pick which they couldn't just get later in the 1st round.
Pat Yasinskas: As I said above, the Saints have to consider moving back, but that's easier said than done. If they have to stay put at No. 14, the name I'm hearing most is Illinois cornerback Vontae Davis, which certainly would fill a need. But I also could see the Saints targeting a linebacker or defensive tackle there.