After the NFL Scouting Combine, many hopeful draft prospects hope their stock has risen. Collegiate Pro Days and Regional Scouting Combines will highlight the next month. Perhaps the more pressing matters involve NFL Free Agency, which is nearly a week away.
It’s time for another edition of our New Orleans Saints mailbag, which gives our readers a chance to ask any questions related to the black and gold. Thanks to all that sent in their questions.
I’d say it’s a smart thing to re-sign Rafael Bush, but only if the price is right. It’s been unfortunate to have Bush go two straight seasons landing on injured-reserve, and I think the Saints defense could have been better with him in the mix. The reality is that Bush has missed 21 out of 32 games since 2013, which means that he shouldn’t have the upper hand on contract negotiations. The Saints have Jairus Byrd and Kenny Vaccaro handling the bulk of safety duty, and rotated several players in addition to those two last year.
The New Orleans Saints have a laundry list of needs to address during the offseason. However, given the depth of this year’s draft class with defensive linemen, I don’t automatically view that it’s the top need at No. 12 overall. I base this on the sole fact that free agency will tell us a great deal. I’ve been high on targets like Damon Harrison and a reunion with Tyrunn Walker to help the interior line, and potentially Adrian Clayborn, Olivier Vernon, and Robert Ayers as a pass rushing presence. So, if the Saints were able to land any of these potential targets, then I’d be more inclined to believe they’d not look at the defensive line.
That being said, I had weak side linebacker Myles Jack in my most recent mock draft. For him to be there when the Saints pick is probably a bit far-fetched, but I can’t envision the team using a pick on an offensive lineman, cornerback, or wide receiver. Of course, we have to wait ti see how free agency pans out.
Personally, I can’t see the Saints taking Laquon Treadwell. I get the hype and wish for him catching passes from Drew Brees, but I always default to this. What good will it do the Saints to move from scoring 28 points per game when you are just going to allow that much and maybe more? The glaring need is on defense. Still, we want to know who becomes the next Marques Colston.
Shaq Lawson definitely boosted his stock after an impressive combine, and consider me absolutely sold over Andrew Billings. Sean Payton formally stated that his intention is to get a pass rusher, which he identified as the Saints biggest area of need. How he gets that player is what will be the interesting part. Do you trust a rookie to make the impact, or do you go with free agency?
To me, Lawson has the skill set and traits that are desirable for what the Saints want out of their pass rush. For a bigger lineman, the type of speed he exhibited at the combine is exactly what you’re looking for. No offense to Billings, but the edge rusher would be where I’d go at No. 12 overall.
Next: More Q&A