New Orleans Saints’ Coach Sean Payton and General Manger Mickey Loomis visited Baton Rouge on Wednesday for LSU’s pro day. It’s not like the masterminds of the Black and Gold are going out of their way; LSU is just a short hour from the Saints’ team facility in Metairie, LA. Well according to espn.com, LSU wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr and Jarvis Landry were planning to have dinner with Saints officials Wednesday night following on-field workouts.
With the departure of Lance Moore, the Saints are in the market for another receiver, and the NFL draft is just the place to go and shop. The Beckham, Landry combination was the nation’s top receiving duo in 2013; they combined for 136 receptions, 2345 yards and 18 touchdowns. Landry was the Tigers’ top target, but Beckham’s threatening ability in the return game is why he’s the higher prospect.
I have this gut feeling that if Odell does happen to slide down the draft board to the 27th pick, the Saints will have a tough time passing on him. It’s kind of a toss up for me right now between Beckham, Alabama’s ILB C.J. Mosley and TCU’s CB Jason Verrett. All three are viable options and if they’re all available (which is somewhat realistic) at 27, I’d hate to be the one making the decisions. However, I’d have to lean towards LSU’s Odell Beckham; adding an athlete of his caliber would make the offense that much better. Not to mention, he’d help out special teams as well (an area the Saints have been pretty week at as of late).
How about another scenario? If Odell is off the draft board by the time the Saints are on the clock, go defense. I am not fond of Florida State’s Kelvin Benjamin or USC’s Marqise Lee. Benjamin is a big target and a red zone threat, but that’s what Jimmy Graham and Marques Colston are there for. Benjamin is also slow and a poor route runner. With Drew Brees being a pocket passer, there’s no time to sit around and wait for a receiver to get open. Marqise Lee, on the otherhand, is a quick, versatile athlete, but he’s been battling nagging injuries his whole career. Lee is too much of a risk…pass.
There’s a chance that Jarvis Landry falls to the third round, but I doubt he’ll be there by the time New Orleans picks. Is Landry worth a second round snag at 58th overall? I believe he is, especially if Clemson’s Martavis Bryant is gone by then, which is likely. Landry has the ability to line up in the slot and be a zone coverage nightmare. He also possesses the ups and hands to make highlight-reel catches. He does lack the top-end speed to play on the outside, but Kenny Stills and Joe Morgan definitely have that. I like Landry as a safe pick at the end of the second round.
The NFL Draft is always an exciting few days for football fans. With it being just around the corner, let’s see if the New Orleans Saints are able to bag up one of the LSU wide receivers.