- The draft is drawing closer as we speak and teams continue their due diligence bringing in top prospects for workouts and meetings in an attempt to determine if they are willing to invest millions or not in a potential fledgling star.
New Orleans has been linked to some of the top prospects in the draft having met with Temple’s Muhammad Wilkerson and North Carolina linebacker Quan Sturdivant among others.
This week it’s been all about the running backs in the Big Easy as the Saints lined up interviews with Alabama’s Mark Ingram, the top running back in the draft, and Syracuse’s Delone Carter.
Carter is expected to go in the third round of the draft, where the Saints hold two picks, but he has been shooting up team draft boards and could go as high as the second round after posting 4.44 forty-yard dash at his pro day.
Ingram, on the other hand, is a first-round talent who may not be available to the Saints when it comes time for them to pick at 24, although draft experts expect him to tumble if he makes it out of the top fifteen.
Another variable to consider when the Saints select is if Illinois running back Mikel Leshoure is also available with Ingram at 24.
Leshoure has been gaining ground on Ingram for some time and perhaps is favored by some teams more than the Crimson Tide product.
The Saints have not been connected to Leshoure yet, as they have Ingram, but when the times comes and both are available it’s hard to say what direction they will go.
Ingram is a solid all around running back and Heisman Trophy winner. He’s big, physical, smart and a terrific between the tackles power runner.
However, he underwent knee surgery last year, which has scared off many teams as they question his career longevity.
Leshoure on the other hand, has no injury problems and is just as big, physical and arguably as “football” smart as Ingram. He also is said to be a little faster around the edge.
The problem with Leshoure is character concerns — he broke his jaw in 2008 fighting with a teammate and was suspended in 2009 for violating team rules — but immaturity can pass.
But for the Saints, it could be a wonderful problem to have to select from two running backs as dynamic as Ingram and Leshoure especially at the bottom of the first round.
Then again, if the Saints don’t select a defensive player at one of the front seven positions then they may be facing a riot from their beloved fan base.