At first glance the New Orleans Saints have some serious issues at left tackle. Jermon Bushrod is gone and it’s up to Charles Brown and a rookie in Terron Armstead to fill the void and properly protect Drew Brees.
Upon further inspection, New Orleans may be just fine at left tackle.
Look no further than Jahri Evans for an explanation. Evans is just the latest in a long tradition the Saints organization has of taking project offensive linemen and flipping them into quality players.
Could Armstead be next?
Back in 2006, Evans was a fourth-round pick for the Saints out of a little-known school called Bloomsberg. The coaching staff threw him to the wolves in his first game and he has not missed a game since while performing as one of the NFL’s best guards.
Armstead comes from a small school as well. As you’ll probably remember, he posted some of the most athletic numbers we have ever seen out of an offensive linemen in the events leading up to the draft. There is a massive, massive leap in talent from his small school to the NFL, but if the coaching staff can lead him along via baby steps his extreme athleticism should allow him to make the proper adjustment.
As we have mentioned before, Brees’ fast release works in Armstead’s favor as well. This means he will not have to drop back into protection as often as other tackles with other teams. Combine this with his athleticism and a proper knowledge of the play book and we could be looking at an instant rookie starter.
There is nothing to say Armstead will ever be as good as Evans. That’s a lot to live up to, but with the way things are going so far, Armstead could very well follow him as a rookie starter from a small school.
After that, the rest is up to him.