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Early 2008 Draft Thoughts

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Posted 11-16-2007 at 10:24 PM by hagan714
Updated 03-10-2008 at 05:37 AM by hagan714

How to improve this team for 2008

Unlike most people I am not caught up this emotional roller coaster ride we are on in 2007. This is year 2 of building a team. Yes there are growing pains. The pain for me is the lack of rookie involvement on the field. I am sure it is the same with most of you. We expect to get a couple of instant starters like we did in 2006. But to date the only real contributor has been CB young. Thomas has yet to get involved in the game except as a kick returner. Our #1 is to be found making fashion statements on the side lines.
As I pointed out in my other blogs the saints look good along the OL and at most offensive postions. The lack of long term vertan leadership at some position does raise some concern. But all in all there is youth and hope to be found throughout the line up.
The defensive side of the ball leaves alot to be desired. Youth is lacking and the players we have added are beyond there prime. Thus we have a defense that can not keep up with younger players. Our best defense is to keep them of the field and well rested. But the offense has yet been able to repeat the type of play we saw in the famous 8 minute drive in the 2006 game against Philadelphia.

So this leaves use where we are today. A team that is still growing. Filled with mistakes and inconsistent play. We get glimpses of what maybe but thats all we get, glimpses. We are just two years away from building something special here. I am looking at the 2009 season as the season we arrive. If the coaches learn from there mistakes of last years draft, I think they will. Keep youth on the defensive side over veteran loyalty. Do not be affraid to keep a player and take the risk. IE Davis. What a waste of a pick. Cincinnati saw something in him. Thats for another time. Yes I am still ticked.

So what does the draft have to offer? That is a question a lot of people are now starting to ask. If we are picking at say #20 do not get your hopes up for an LSU player till the third round. Unless like in every year you get a group of workout warriors at the combine that leap frog over people. Few if any ever live up this hype that the media gives them. That is all it is HYPE. Remember the media is driven by one thing and one thing only, RATINGS. They all get giddie, like a little school girl and hope they find the one or two players that make it out of no where. That way they can drive the ratings higher for their blogs. They all want to be the next Mel Kipper and get you the fan to actually pay to read there opion. Which time and time again we have all seen them totally wrong.

So here we go with players that should be there in 2008 for the saints. I am going to list them as options from pick 12 to pick 22. Big caution here, there are a ton of WR that will be here with our pick. So trades will be flying around. Will the Saints bite on an offer? Maybe

I hope we do not repeat history. I do not think we will take a WR. If anything it makes this pick a real attractive pick to trade out of. Last year I saw our #2 as the pick to trade and this year it is the #1. Lets see what the final rankings are first. I maybe putting the horse ahead of the cart here.

So here is what I hope are our choices.

Round 1:

Cherilus Gosder , 6-7, 318, 5.15, OT, Boston College
Dan Connor, 6-3, 233, 4.58, OLB, Penn State
Ryan Clady, 6-6, 319, 5.28, OT, Boise State Jr.
Rey Maualuga, 6-3, 250, 4.64, ILB, USC
Malcolm Jenkins, 6-1, 202, 4.55, CB Ohio State
Reggie Smith, 6-1, 198, 4.58, CB Oklahoma
Aquib Talib, 6 - 2, 193, 4.45, Kansas
Mike Jenkins, 6-0, 200, CB South Florida
Justin King, 6-0, 186, 4.34, CB Penn State Jr.

Of this group King is the big question. A Jr. If he does come out look for him to climb in the rankings. If he is as fast as I think he is, a solid low 4.3 and at 6-0 and 186 he will get a lot of attention. He may fly into the top 10.

Second is Reggie Smith. Not so much for his speed but the fact he can play both FS and CB. The problem with remaining members is the fact they are all 4.5+ guys. But they do have size. Talib is the only exception left.

Conner is a solid player and so is Cherilus. Conner has concussion issues that scares me away from him. Maualuga is a different story. I look at him as a bigger version of former USC LB Lofa Tatapu.

Mike Jenkins is a mystery man here. How fast is he? Do we really want another project? Lets see what happens. He may go back to the middle of the second.

In this range ( 12 to 22) my top players, realistically are:

A) Cherilus Gosder , 6-7, 318, 5.15, OT, Boston College
With no doubt one of the better OT in the draft.

B) Aquib Talib, 6 - 2, 193, 4.45, Kansas
Definitely one of the best pure CB in the draft. sky is the limit

C) Rey Maualuga, 6-3, 250, 4.64, ILB, USC
A bigger version of former USC LB Lofa Tatapu.

D) Malcolm Jenkins, 6-1, 202, 4.55, CB Ohio State
One of the best man on man cover guys in the draft. But maybe better of at safety

If all four are on the board we can not go wrong. The questions to answer are:
At CB and ILB, there is no question.
At Tackle is one of our draft choices ready to step up and play so Brown can move back to RT? If not do we take the pick to finish off the OL?
LB is tempting but the need for the Saints but CB is greater, IMO. But if this is our pick we definitely have to entertain the idea of adding a FS with speed and play making skills to finish of the secondary.
My answer is no. Take the CB.

Pick in Round 1: We reach a bit with:

Aquib Talib, 6 - 2, 193, 4.45, Kansas

Aqib Talib has three picks (one went 100 yards for a TD) and is among the nation's leaders in passes defended once again. He's also spent some time at WR and has four touchdown receptions to boot. At 6'2" and 205, he'll be one of the first CBs drafted.

Here is why; Thomas is goner. David goes to #3 in two years, Young and Talib take over at #1 and #2. M&M days would be numbered. That or we for the first time in years have 4 solid CB. Who knows the Saints may admit there mistake with David and cut him loose.

I project a trade here. Back to the bottom of the first or the top of the second.

If the Saints do not sign a RB in FA because of Duce keep an eye on

Chris Johnson, RB/KR, 5 - 11, 200, 4.20, East Carolina

Chris Johnson, believe it or not, runs a 4.2 in the 40 despite weighing 200 pounds. He also catches the ball out of the backfield with ease. Right now he is listed as a low #2 but the combine will let him climb in the draft. How knows he maybe around at our pick in round 2. To early to say.

Picking up an additional 3 and #1 for 2009. Then making the move on him.

Round 2: pick #42 to #54

Beau Bell, MLB, 6 - 3, 248, 4.63, UNLV

Bell is a serious sleeper prospect, but he has nice size at 6' 3" 244 pounds and has been very productive this year. He can play inside or outside.

Round 3: Pick #74 to #86

Red Bryant, DT, 6 - 5, 324, 5.15, Texas A&M (If the Saints Trade)

Martin Rucker, TE, 6 - 6 255, 4.70, Missouri

Day one will a be shaped by Duce and FA.
Posted in 2008 NFL Draft
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  1. Old Comment
    It's hard to say where the Saints should go in the draft. From watching them play a few times on Television, there are a lot of holes to fill. An offensive tackle would be a good choice. However, I believe Payton and company should concentrate on the defensive side of the ball. Particularly with the front seven. Or should I say front 5 because Grant and Smith are set at the end positions. A DT and LB's are needed badly. The middle of the defense is just bad. Yes, they make plays occasionally. But not consistantly enough. It may seem like a CB would be the obvious choice here, but if there was any kind of pass rush, the CBs on the roster would be adequate. Opposing quarterbacks just have way too much time to pass the ball. So, Maualuga or Connor would be my choices in round 1. If they are off the board, then one of the CBs mentioned would be fine. A RB could be taken in the later rounds. I think the Saints need to give Pierre Thomas a shot. He doesn't get enough carries. He may be the answer to pound the ball up the middle.
    On the offensive side of the ball, an OT is needed to shift Brown back to RT. If a suitable replacement can not be found, then Rucker seems like an interesting pick. He's a very big target. He'd be good across the middle. But like I said, the Saints need to concentrate on the defensive side of the ball in the first round or two.
    Posted 12-18-2007 at 01:11 PM by NEPASaint NEPASaint is offline

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