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hagan714 04-17-2007 11:32 AM

2007 Draft Preview - Team Needs
2007 Draft Preview - Team Needs
Written by Saintified Saturday, 14 April 2007

Round one: Defensive Tackle. The Saints still need to improve against the run. Upgrading here allows them to continue their improvement in control of the clock. The Saints should consider a trade here and I would focus on the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, as usual, have very few draft choices, and with their salary-cap issues, additional draft choices for rookies at lower salary values should be very attractive. The Skins also have a lot of holes to fill. The Saints have a lot of fourth-round picks, but if tied to the first round trade might be attractive to Washington.

Defensive line is were it starts with pass Defense as well as against the run. So I agree here. But Washington in a trade would involve more than 4ths. We need all our day one picks to address team needs. Unless you get Grant into the picture or offer up a pick from next year draft.

Washington is in need of a DE badly but a RDE. They are picking in an area to address that need. Now out of desperation due to the lack of picks they may go for it. But they trade would be a wash. Grant is by no means a true Franchised player in pick value. 27 to 6 is a jump in value of 920 pts. So that would return us nothing and create a need at DE. Or trade a #1 from next year and keep Grant. As it is now Washington can trade back a couple of spots get picks and still get a DE. So we would have to give up alot in order for them to even consider it.

Houston at 10(1300) to re-coup picks form the Atlanta trade. 27 to 10 is only 620 points or pick #30 in the frist round. If Grant was part of trade we might be able to swap picks moving up in a round to boot. Say the 4th round, 107 (80) for 126(46) or maybe even a 3rd round 88(150) for 73 (225). Unlikely but just maybe. That would put us in the ideal spot for the best player in the draft at CB and LB. Top 2 or 3 at DE and DT. Houston gets another player and does not loose any picks. For us this would offer the biggest impact player we could get in the draft without risking the furture.

St. Louis Rams at 13 (1150) only because of the Haz contection

Denver at 21(800) is in need of a LDT. The just got cap room cutting Al so they are an option. I vote for Denver and a Charles Grant trade, they need a LDE. Plus we could get extra picks. They have an additional 3rd at the top of the round. Bank the rest for next year or two. We could shore up the DE postion on day one without killing day one and/or the future. At 21 we would have our choice of the last 2 of the top 4 CB on the board. Along with who ever drops. This is an ideal position to address needs with BPA without morgaging the future.

Or we can give them our third giving the 3 in the round and call it a day. Let Grant walk and hope this year draft is as good as the last and pray for a comp pick for him in 2009. Thats if we do not sign a big ticket FA in 2008. Which we may not have to.

Stay put at 27 and do the Grant bit and risk him going to Tampa anyways. I would just trade him for their #35(560) and work something out swapping or futures picks for the remaining balance and get it over with. All odds are he will end up there any ways, unless we trade him to a better sisuation like Denver.
If we stay at 21 we will get a OL(Staley, Grubbs), WR(Bowe, Jarrett) or DT(Harrell). I do not see CB or LB dropping down to us.

Round two: Quarterback. I go back to where I started - the Saints do not have the future behind Drew Brees. And if Brees goes down so the Saints.

I agree we need to draft for the future but we have a backup that is proven under a contract for one more year. I say hold of here and draft a QB that will need at least a year to develope before our backup is a FA. Then you have Bress' contract length. Would it be wise to tie up so much money at QB and have both contracts running out about the same time? It would force you to make a choice in what direction you wanted to go. Besides I think we might have a chance to trade this pick because of QB Drew Stanton. Alot depends on what Miami does in the next couple of weeks. Detroit is hot for the kid espically if they trade their backup like he wants. I look at Beck, Stanback or Kolb in the fourth or fifth as maybe a better answer. Still better is Shawn having a later round pick up his sleeve. What ever he does at QB is ok. He has proven he has the skills to pick and develope the right guys.
Here I look at CB(Wilson, Hughes), DE(Frances), ILB(Harris) and maybe DT (Tyler,Mcbride).

Round three: Cornerback. This was tough for me because I think the need at linebacker is equally high. What tipped the scale was the age of the cornerbacks. Bellamy, Thomas and McKenzie are all well over 30 and it's time to grow the future.

If we are picking at 88 the CB situation is interesting. AJ Davis, David Irions, Kenny Scott. I like Scott among the group here. Look at RB(Booker), WR(Higgins,Allison), LB(Durant,Shaw,DeOssie), DT (Johnson,Solia), SS(Piscatelli) might be here also. With three picks in 4th we may reach here and take some one like DeOssie.

Round four (times three): Linebacker, Tackle, Wide Receiver. I've already identified the need for linebacker and it's clear that the loss of Joe Horn has created a need for another quality wide receiver. The draft is deep in wide receiver so waiting until the fourth round is acceptable. The offensive line was blessed last year to be nearly injury free. Sean Payton can't count on that again and needs to have depth in case of injury.

Love rounds 4 and 5 some interesting, "what might be", players this year. With three picks lumped together we will definitly reach to the moon on one.
OT/OG - Allen Barbre - 6040, 300, 4.84, Missouri Southern’s
OG/OC - Leroy Harris - 6024, 302, 5.35, N. Carolina St.
Mike Walker - 6016, 209, 4.35, Central Florida
Laurent Robinson - 6020, 199, 4.38, Illinois State
Kevin Boss - 6064, 252, 4.71, Western Oregon
UT/3-4 DE
Ryan McBean - 6043, 286, 4.96 Oklahoma State
Jon Abbate - 5096, 231, 4.88, Wake Forest MLB
Quincy Black - 6015, 240, 4.42, New Mexico(OLB/MLB)
Antwan Barnes 6005, 240, 4.45, Florida International OLB

Rounds five and seven: best available player regardless of position. I'll be there with the rest of you geeks watching the draft on Saturday and Sunday. If the Saints only do half as well as they did last year, it still will be a successful draft. Look at last year: Bush, Colston, Evans, Harper and Strief... all major contributors.

From here on it is pretty deep at OT, TE, DT, DE, LB and so-so at OG/OC, WR, RB, CB, S. We should end up with a solid player or two. UDFA pool look to be good also.

papz 04-17-2007 12:00 PM

I think we can go many different ways with our first rounder. We could use the best available WR or DT there, and there's a need for a corner/offensive line depth also. I have a gut feeling we'll go with a WR in the first. With our second rounder either a DT/DE/OL, and a corner with our third. You never know, we have package two of our fourth rounders to get another 3rd if a guy we really like is there.

I agree we can get a solid quarterback to develop on the second day. Sure it would be nice to get a Drew Stanton, but we have other needs that should be addressed first. Stanton will probably be gone anyways.

My personal favorite for our first rounder probably would be Anthony Spencer or Steve Smith. 2nd I'll do the same and go with Tank and Turk. I also like Buster Davis (the MLB) and Weddle. In the third I'd like at a Wilson, Bennett, or one of the corners who might have dropped.

Our fourth rounders can be OL and a Siler if he's still there. A quarterback here would also make sense.

NarwhalHunter 04-17-2007 12:59 PM

Personally, I think need should take precedence over best player available for the first couple of rounds, otherwise we'd probably end up with an even mix of safeties and guards every time and it'd be the Haslett years all over again. Besides, teams like the Patriots have been doing that all along with their 'dynasty' and it seemed to work out alright for them. So that colors my outlook somewhat, and with that said...

I think we have to go with the best defensive guy who has a chance to start and immediately contribute in the first round, either a linebacker or a corner, or maybe DT. A lot of mock drafts seem to start the run on both positions at about the time when the Giants make their pick (at 20), so if the Saints have someone in mind they must have I'd expect to see them trade up to get him close to that spot. We could probably sit tight and let whoever's left fall to us and either take the BPA of what's left, or if no good defenders are available, trade down. I see so many mocks that have us taking a receiver here and I want to beat my head into my desk. I think taking a WR at that point would be a luxury pick, since we now have a proven vet in Patten, and Colston, Henderson, Copper, and even Jamal Jones all started at various points in the year, so we're pretty stacked at wideout. Joe Horn missed the second half of the season and the passing game didn't miss a beat, so I'm not concerned with that position so much. My personal pick would be Paul Posluszny, but if a good corner like Ross fell, it'd be a hard decision to make.

Second round, a backup QB would almost be a waste of a pick. Brees is only 28 and has 5 years left on his contract; he IS the future at quarterback. Besides, Payton knows what he's looking for at QB and can probably bring in an undrafted signal caller like he did with Romo and groom him from there. Again, we have some pretty big gaps on defense to fill and so whatever we didn't take in the first, we should take in the second. I would love to have Eric Weddle here, but Marcus McCauley, Turk McBride, or David Harris would all be pretty good picks at this point.

Third round, again I think we need to go with the D, but there are sure to be some interesting prospects left at other positions, like TE, the o-line, and defensive end that could be too good to pass up. Matt Spaeth, Doug Free, Bryan Robinson are all possibilities we might consider. I would also look at Brandon Mebane, Rufus Alexander, or David Irons, depending on where they all go.

Day two is when you can really start going BPA more over need, and since we have so many picks in the fourth round there's sure to be a ton of ways we can go to start building depth. Here's where the receivers should come in, as well as depth at both lines. Rounds 5 and 7 you almost always have to go BPA and just trust your scouts. Most of these guys might never pan out or just turn into career, and the late round, Tom Brady types don't show up all that often. Just finding a decent starter here is a bit of a coup.

That's my take on it, at least.

papz 04-17-2007 02:00 PM

I like the players you suggested and respect your opinion. However I'm not as sold on our receiving corps as you are. Although we did sign Patten, and I do like him, he is aging and hasn't been productive. There are question marks with him. We all know Henderson is inconsistent as heck and you never know when he'll show. He'll have a great game and disappear for the next two. So neither can be counted on as a solid number two opposite Colston... who is our only sure thing at wide receiver. I don't think taking a WR in the first being a luxury pick... I think of it as an area of concern which needs to be addressed either in the first or second.

NarwhalHunter 04-17-2007 03:00 PM

I guess it's not a huge luxury, I just think we have more pressing needs on defense and Patten gives us a bit of a band-aid at that position for now. Henderson has been improving, so this season should show whether or not he's going to be anything more than a speedy slot guy. I wouldn't mind using a second round pick on a good wideout that fell to us, though.

hagan714 04-17-2007 03:11 PM

1st - Bowe, Jarrett
3rd - Higgins,Allison
4th - Walker, Robinson
Papz tried to reasonable here. Smith (top of second) is high on my list and Jones (mid 4th) is also. But to get either one I think we will have to reach. If we do reach on one I would put Jones in the group we may reach for in the third. If lady luck is on our side he could fall into our laps.
I agree with you on the WR eval. we do need help.

papz 04-17-2007 04:05 PM

I think if we really wanted to move up in the second round and target an Anthony Gonzalez, that would be a good solution/addition. Maybe we could package our second and maybe one of our 4th rounders to move higher up into round two.

I also hope Henderson can continue to improve and be that #2 guy. He made leaps and bounds from his rookie season. If he can be a little more consistent, he's easily a 1,000 yard receiver. Though I do have my question marks about Patten, I think he's going to rebound nicely and be a solid slot receiver. 600 or 700 yards would be a good season from him.

I hear a lot of good things on Higgins and I know you like Jones a lot Hagan, they sound like they could definately help in the later rounds.

BRSaintsFan 04-17-2007 10:18 PM

Good analyses all around but I think if Chris Houston or Aaron Ross is around (although this is looking more and more unlikely) we have to take one of them. They would certainly be able to compete this year for at least the nickel back spot and would be strong cover guys in future years. If not, and Poluszny or Timmons is around, I think you have to take a long look at them although I think our LBs are servicable at worst. Ive seen several mock drafts with us taking Greg Olsen in which case I will be severely dissappointed. There are really no DTs that I would see with value at our pick. Branch and Okoye will be long gone leaving Harrell as maybe the only option there.

All in all unless Houston or Ross falls, I would think D. Bowe has to be the pick (once again assuming he is still around). WR is deep and you can certainly get a quality guy later on but Bowe would be too hard to pass on if hes around.

Other guys that I like that haven't been mentioned yet:

Craig Davis WR LSU - probably a 2nd rounder
Jason Hill WR WSU - 2nd or early 3rd rounder
Mario Henderson OL FSU - mid rounder
Manuel Ramirez OG TTech - 3rd rounder
Baraka Atkins DE Miami - mid rounder
Paul Soliai DT Utah - mid rounder
Tim Shaw LB Penn St - mid rounder
Dallas Sartz LB USC - mid rounder
Daymeion Hughes CB Cal - 2nd or 3rd

NarwhalHunter 04-18-2007 01:49 AM

Chris Houston scares the crap out of me. He looks like Ahmad Carroll version 2.0, and that's not a good thing. Another name to look at in the first might be DT Justin Harrell, he'd be pretty good value at 27th.

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