It was difficult to watch quarterback Drew Brees struggle last year, in part because of the lack of elite play that he received from his offensive line.
The New Orleans Saints will look to address the offensive line in the 2015 NFL draft which takes us to our latest Saints draft prospect, Jake Fisher, whom the Saints hosted for a visit along with Nebraska DE/OLB Randy Gregory.
The red-shirt senior follows first round pick Kyle Long out of Oregon and several of his coaches believe he comes out more polished than Long did. Fisher is a First-Team All-American left tackle despite nursing a sprained knee for the first few games in 2014.
Strong, powerful, and athletic, Fisher wins with good initial quickness and feet movement for a 6’6, +300 lb lineman. That athleticism is owed to his days as a tight end and defensive linemen in high school.
He possesses top tier strength to match his agility and regularly engages and anchors well as a left tackle. He understands how to adjust to different angles with his broad shoulders and long arms and mirrors well against edge rushers attempting to go inside or outside.
Fisher had a fantastic day at the NFL combine and his numbers mirror those of former first round tackles Luke Joeckel, Lane Johnson, Eric Fisher, and Trent Williams.
Tackle is one of the top four positions on an NFL team and Fisher’s skill-set will be in high demand for teams looking to improve their aerial attack and gain consistency running the ball. Fisher is certainly a technician when you look at his tape; he engages and eliminates pass rushers with ease.
In the run game, he isn’t a mauler but he displays enough strength to jolt defensive linemen off their spot. He’ll need to add more functional strength to continue having success run blocking, but he fits in a power zone blocking scheme.
One trait that certainly gotSean Payton
andGM Mickey Loomis
‘ attention is how much of a selfless leader he is in the locker room and on the field. He is beloved by coaches and teammates alike.
Fisher would be the perfect replacement for RTZack Strief
. Fisher is definitely a day one starter in the NFL and will be a stellar right tackle as he gains NFL experience. He isn’t a mauler like Strief, but his balance of power and athleticism in the pass and run will solidify the Saints offensive line for years to come.
I’m not convinced that Fisher would be able to excel at guard because he doesn’t have elite-level strength and is susceptible to the bull rush. He’ll need to improve his contact balance against power moves off the edge, but he fits best at tackle anyway.
Another area of issue is his hand placement. Fisher is one of the most penalized linemen over the past two seasons coming out of the draft this year. He tends to grab when he should really be punching with his hands.
Fisher is projected as a late first round pick or second round pick and could theoretically be available for the Saints with the 31st overall pick.