Thursday, April 19, 2012
Looking at Saints' draft situation
By Pat Yasinskas
The Falcons, Panthers and Buccaneers all had pre-draft sessions with the media. The New Orleans Saints didn’t have any media access, but we don’t want to leave them out.
So let’s turn to two of our in-house draft experts to discuss what the Saints may do in the draft.
Check out this Insider post by Steve Muench that lays out a draft plan for the Saints and throws out five potential picks. Muench starts with Virginia defensive end Cam Johnson in the third round and also has them taking defensive tackle Jaye Howard in the fifth round. Both picks make plenty of sense. The Saints don’t have picks in the first two rounds and they obviously have some needs on defense as new coordinator Steve Spagnuolo takes over. Spagnuolo emphasizes the importance of generating a pass rush almost exclusively from the front four. Aside from defensive end Will Smith, the Saints don’t have a strong pass-rusher. Muench says Johnson has the quickness to develop into a good pass-rusher. Howard also has potential as a pass-rusher in the interior. That could help because defensive tackles Brodrick Bunkley and Sedrick Ellis aren’t known for their pass-rushing skills.
In this Insider post , Matt Williamson writes about the four teams with the worst draft situations. As you would expect for a team short on picks, the Saints made his list. Then again, so did the Falcons.
In his analysis of what the Saints need, Williamson is in full agreement with Muench about the importance of adding some help to the defensive front. I think that’s pretty much the consensus on where the Saints’ biggest needs are.
Let’s bounce back to Muench’s picks for the Saints. His last one might be the most intriguing. He has the Saints taking Western Michigan wide receiver Jordan White in the seventh round. White doesn’t have a lot of upside and he’ll be a 24-year-old rookie. Once upon a time, 2006 to be precise, the Saints used a seventh-round pick on a receiver who wasn’t supposed to have a lot of upside. That wound up working out very nicely. That pick was used on Marques Colston.