John DeShazier: Don't expect Saints to change their successful draft strategy
Indianapolis – “Best player available” isn’t nearly as alluring and topical as, say, a general manager or coach identifying that his team is leaning toward selecting an offensive lineman or defensive back entering the NFL Draft.
And yet, that exactly is what the New Orleans Saints hope to do in this year’s draft, same as the goal has been in previous years. So hoping to pin down General Manager Mickey Loomis, Director of Player Personnel Ryan Pace – or any other Saints official – and have him identify a specific position of emphasis as they attend the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine, pretty much would be a futile endeavor.
There’s much time, and many scenarios, that will play out before the draft is held on May 8-10.
“I think for one thing, our goal in free agency and the offseason is to fill as many of our needs as possible,” Loomis said. “We always try to do that before the draft, so that when we get to the draft, we can just take the best player available to us at the time that we’re selecting.
“Particularly when you’re selecting 27th, we don’t really have a good idea who’s going to be available to us in the first round, much less the second, third or fourth. So, if we can get to the point where we can just take the highest graded player first and “need” second, that’s what we’re angling for. We’ll see how that unfolds. I think for the most part in the past, we’ve been able to do that. But each year is different.”
The good thing this year is that almost every evaluation of the 2014 draft class suggests it is a talented and deep one.
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