Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Offseason Blueprint: Saints
By Mike Triplett
ESPN's team of NFL Insiders put together an outstanding comprehensive look at what the New Orleans Saints are facing this offseason, from personnel decisions to scouting reports to salary-cap breakdowns, among several other topics. I found the insight from analysts KC Joyner and Mel Kiper Jr. particularly interesting as they broke down some specific players the Saints might want to target in free agency and the draft.
Joyner listed five free agents the Saints should target -- current starters Jimmy Graham, Zach Strief and Brian de la Puente, plus San Francisco 49ers cornerback Tarell Brown (a young, solid starter with good experience who won't break the bank) and Minnesota Vikings deep threat receiver Jerome Simpson. I'm not sure the Saints can afford everyone on that list. But I think that's a very good estimate of both the positions and caliber of players the Saints may target.
Kiper listed offensive tackle Antonio Richardson, cornerback Bradley Roby and outside linebacker Dee Ford as possible first-round targets. And I particularly agreed with his thinking on his late-round suggestion, linebacker Shayne Skov, since the Saints need to add some young depth in that group.