All Things Saints: Your Daily News 4/18


Nov 23, 2013; Columbus, OH, USA; Indiana Hoosiers wide receiver Shane Wynn (1) runs with the ball after a catch and tries to avoid Ohio State Buckeyes linebacker Ryan Shazier (2) in the first quarter of the game at Ohio Stadium. Ohio State Buckeyes beat Indiana Hoosiers 42-14. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowksi-USA TODAY Sports

Good Friday to everyone!  We’re getting this out to you a little later today. Better late than never, right? The biggest news of today currently belongs to Robert Meachem, as the New Orleans Saints re-signed the veteran wide receiver to a one-year deal.

If you’ve been following the Darren Sharper case, the latest information is that Sharper has been denied bond, and will remain jailed.

Here’s some other articles for today’s news.

Jeff Duncan | | New Orleans Saints fill need at linebacker with Ohio State’s Ryan Shazier

"Analysis: Normally I don’t consider linebacker a first-round position. But the more I think about it the more I like Shazier in this spot. He brings a skill set the Saints lack on the second level: range and cover skills. The Saints once again will be playing with a lot of leads and will need to improve their pass defense at the linebacker spot. Shazier is versatile, instinctive and owns the best cover skills of any linebacker in the draft. In many ways, he’s a linebacker version of last year’s first-round pick, Kenny Vaccaro. That one worked out OK, didn’t it?"

Duncan has changed his tune by actually selecting a player instead of trading out of the first round. If you caught my Mock Draft Consensus article, Shazier hasn’t appeared on any of the boards from Kiper or McShay. I’m not doubting that Shazier is a good prospect, but it seems that the Saints would be smarter to spend that pick on a cornerback or wide receiver. If they happen to nab a linebacker, it seems more likely that Auburn’s Dee Ford or Alabama’s C.J. Mosley would be likely selections, as they have been linked to the Saints in mock drafts.

Mike Triplett | ESPN | Saints salary-cap breakdown: Defense

"Lofton and Hawthorne both have big pay increases coming in 2015 (to $7 million and $4.5 million in salary and bonuses, respectively). So they’ll both have to keep playing at a high level to secure their salaries. Hawthorne, in particular, could be a pay-cut or release candidate."

The article breaks down the percentage spent on each area (linebacker, defensive line, cornerback, safety). It’s definitely worth a read, and as Triplett suggests, there are bound to be some road blocks for the 2015 salary cap. We’ll just worry about that when it comes.

Mike Triplett | ESPN | Analyzing Kiper Mock 4.0: Saints

Kiper made a change, and it has the team taking Indiana’s Cody Latimer, a junior wide receiver. For those who are without ESPN Insider, here’s the analysis.

"Analysis: No player has risen faster on my board recently, and I’m not alone. I’ll give McShay credit — he was raving about Latimer after he got to take a closer look at Indiana tape. Latimer was a player I saw as a likelier second-day pick based on my earlier work on him, but he’s always looked good in the size/speed equation, it’s just that a closer look shows you a player who was extremely reliable as a pass-catcher. The Saints need depth at wide receiver after losing one of Drew Brees’ favorite targets in Lance Moore, not to mention the departure of Darren Sproles in a pass-catching sense."

The addition of Robert Meachem doesn’t mean the team will ignore the wide receiver position. Latimer has sky rocketed as of late thanks to his pro-day, but his original projection was on day two, being selected in the third round. Various sites had him ranked out of the top twenty. It may be a stretch, but Kiper has been doing this since the beginning of time, so what do I know?

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