Sep 22, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA;New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) celebrates a seven-yard touchdown run with guard Ben Grubbs (66) in the fourth quarter of their game against the Arizona Cardinals at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
The mood around the football world is best described as ‘the calm before the storm’. We’re about to enter a very fun and exciting portion of the league’s schedule with the three-day NFL draft that starts this Thursday.
To get started today, I’d like to resurface my Biggest Draft Busts In The Sean Payton Era article that I wrote at the end of February. After you check that out, be sure to check out the plethora of news articles today!
Mike Triplett | ESPN | McShay on Saints’ options at WR, CB
"“So if you don’t get a receiver in the first, you’re probably not expecting to get a guy who’s gonna come in and be an immediate starter (later in the draft),” McShay said. “But I think there’s a number of guys in the second, third and fourth that could come in and make an immediate contribution.”"
There’s a host of options in this year’s draft. Understand that if the Saints don’t select a wide receiver with their first round pick (which still seems like it’s not the most pressing need at this point), there are plenty of options for them in later rounds. Remember that the team did not draft Kenny Stills until the fifth round in last year’s draft. We can only hope that lightning strikes twice!
Mike Triplett | ESPN | Ranking Saints’ draft needs: No. 7 TE
"However, it wouldn’t be surprising at all to see New Orleans add a tight end at any point after that if they have a high grade on a prospect. Backup Benjamin Watson is 33 years old. And even though the Saints like the potential of second-year backup Josh Hill, they always make room for three or four tight ends on the roster and rotate them into the offense."
Given the history, as Triplett points out, the Saints love to rotate three tight ends. Ben Watson is contracted wtih the team through 2015. Ben Watson and Josh Hill are both deemed more blocking tight ends than receiver threats in the offense. If the Saints do look for a tight end in the draft, don’t expect it to come until the sixth round. Ultimately, I believe the best bet is via the undrafted rookie free agent pool. Last year, the team did bring in tight end Keavon Milton, a local prospect from the university of Louisiana-Monroe, but Milton would end up with the Cleveland Browns after being claimed off waivers from the Saints. Milton was eventually converted to an offensive lineman.
Ramon Antonio Vargas | The Advocate | As expected, Saints have not exercised fifth-year option on Mark Ingram
"With hours to go before the team’s deadline to do so, the NFL Players Association website on Friday did not show that the Saints had exercised a fifth-year team option on the contract of running back Mark Ingram."
It’s not that the Saints won’t have Mark Ingram back on the roster next year, but when you look at the bigger picture, the salary cap isn’t going to be in the Saints favor. Ingram would have cost $5.21 million, and when you look at the Saints running back committee of Pierre Thomas, Travaris Cadet, and Khiry Robinson, they don’t even make up that salary cap figure combined.
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