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ESPN Triplett: Saints' top three draft picks from 2015 might all switch positions

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Saints' top three draft picks from 2015 might all switch positions The New Orleans Saints might wind up moving each of their top three picks from the 2015 draft to new positions this season. They have already announced plans to ...

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Old 05-13-2016, 06:08 PM   #1
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ESPN Triplett: Saints' top three draft picks from 2015 might all switch positions

Saints' top three draft picks from 2015 might all switch positions

The New Orleans Saints might wind up moving each of their top three picks from the 2015 draft to new positions this season.

They have already announced plans to move their most successful rookie -- first-round draft choice Stephone Anthony -- from middle linebacker to strongside linebacker.

And Thursday, I wrote about how the Saints will consider moving offensive tackle Andrus Peat into more of a full-time guard role.

It also appears more likely that outside linebacker Hau'oli Kikaha will play more of a full-time defensive-end role after the Saints failed to add at that spot in free agency or the draft.

Before you go worrying about the Saints messing up a good thing with Anthony and Kikaha, consider that the position switches should benefit both linebackers, who might have been asked to take on too much last season.

Anthony had a very good rookie campaign, starting all 16 games as the quarterback of the Saints’ defense and ranking 20th in the NFL with 112 tackles. But coach Sean Payton suggested earlier this offseason that the Saints were looking to take the signal-calling part of the job off Anthony's plate, which is why they signed veteran free agent James Laurinaitis.

Now the 6-foot-2, 245-pound Anthony can concentrate more on using his impressive combination of power and athleticism. Saints linebackers coach Joe Vitt said before the draft that Anthony could be the first true 4-3 Sam linebacker for New Orleans since Scott Fujita.

Kikaha, meanwhile, had a terrific start as a playmaking edge rusher for the Saints last year, with four sacks and three forced fumbles in the first six weeks. But his performance dropped off after he began dealing with a nagging ankle injury. And he never looked fully comfortable when the Saints asked him to drop back in coverage.

The 6-3, 246-pound Kikaha was a full-time defensive end at Washington, where he racked up a whopping 19 sacks as a senior. He is a bit small to play an every-down DE role in the Saints’ 4-3 defense. But since they play nickel defense about 75 percent of the time, we could see Kikaha playing the Jack edge-rusher role on most of those nickel snaps.

Payton said earlier this offseason that Kikaha will likely play more at Jack. And it seems like a given now that the Saints didn’t add any new edge rushers in free agency or the draft.

For that reason, Kikaha might emerge as one of the most important players on New Orleans’ entire roster this season.

New Orleans Saints' top three draft picks from 2015 could switch spots - New Orleans Saints Blog- ESPN


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Old 05-14-2016, 05:29 AM   #2
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Re: ESPN Triplett: Saints' top three draft picks from 2015 might all switch positions

"Joe Vitt said". I don't put much stock in Vitt or what he says. I don't trust any of the good ole' boys they should have been run out of town years ago.
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Old 05-14-2016, 06:14 AM   #3
 
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Re: ESPN Triplett: Saints' top three draft picks from 2015 might all switch positions

Does that mean we sucked in that draft too?
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Old 05-14-2016, 08:24 AM   #4
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Re: ESPN Triplett: Saints' top three draft picks from 2015 might all switch positions

Originally Posted by Danno View Post
They have already announced plans to move their most successful rookie -- first-round draft choice Stephone Anthony -- from middle linebacker to strongside linebacker.
This should work well but coverage skills is were I will be hoping to see improvement. I am not so worry about backs and quick hitches as much as the mid level routes he will be asked to cover. He just needs to keep improving like he did last year and take that next step.

Originally Posted by Danno View Post
And Thursday, I wrote about how the Saints will consider moving offensive tackle Andrus Peat into more of a full-time guard role.
I really hope he can handle the ROG position if this is the case. We all know he can handle moving to left. If he can handle ROG that might be a sign this kid worked his but off and learned to dance to his right better.

Originally Posted by Danno View Post
It also appears more likely that outside linebacker Hau'oli Kikaha will play more of a full-time defensive-end role after the Saints failed to add at that spot in free agency or the draft.

For that reason, Kikaha might emerge as one of the most important players on New Orleans’ entire roster this season.
This I almost totally agree with. He will be key. But his success will all come from the DT and NT

NT: John Jenkins, Tyeler Davison

These two have to step up and do their job beyond any of the expectations I have read about.

I am not so worried about DT: Nick Fairley and Sheldon Rankins Becuase if NT: John Jenkins and Tyeler Davison fail Nick and Sheldon could be neutralized.

My gut says we will see Nick and Rankins as the starters and John and Tyeler as the rotation of the bench by seasons end.

If Nick Fairley and Sheldon Rankins do turn out to the starters, evaluating Hau'oli Kikahaas a DE probably would be a total waste of time.

Unless Nick or Sheldon can actually develop into double team magnets and hold up to the onslaught

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Old 05-14-2016, 09:12 AM   #5
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Re: ESPN Triplett: Saints' top three draft picks from 2015 might all switch positions

I'm uncomfortable with another year of Zach Strief. If Peat is going to play Guard we should have took Tunsil. Ah well. We'll see how it goes.
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Old 05-14-2016, 02:31 PM   #6
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Re: ESPN Triplett: Saints' top three draft picks from 2015 might all switch positions

Some of the moves makes sense though.

You should play your best 11 players you can put on the field. Doesn't matter what position they play or listed at... you best 11 plays.
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Old 05-14-2016, 03:07 PM   #7
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Re: ESPN Triplett: Saints' top three draft picks from 2015 might all switch positions

Wherever we can get the most production is fine with me.
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