New Orleans Saints 2016 NFL Draft Profile: Cody Whitehair

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Sep 27, 2014; Manhattan, KS, USA; Kansas State Wildcats offensive linesman Cody Whitehair (55) waits to block UTEP Miners defensive lineman Nick Usher (36) during first-quarter action at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 27, 2014; Manhattan, KS, USA; Kansas State Wildcats offensive linesman Cody Whitehair (55) waits to block UTEP Miners defensive lineman Nick Usher (36) during first-quarter action at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports /
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With New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees in the latter end of his career, keeping him well-protected is vital for the team’s success.  Cody Whitehair, a top guard prospect in the incoming rookie class, could help in that aspect both now and in the future.

We continue our 2016 NFL Draft profile coverage with Cody Whitehair, and intriguing guard prospect who could make a big difference on the New Orleans Saints‘ offensive line.

Measurables:
Height: 6-foot-4
Weight: 301 LBS
Arm length: 32 3/8 inches
Hands: 10 1/8 inches

NFL Combine results:
40-yard dash: 5.08 seconds
Bench press (225 LBS): 16 reps
Broad jump: 110 inches
3-cone drill: 7.32 seconds (Top performer)
20-yard shuttle: 4.58 seconds

Analysis:
With excellent athleticism and versatility (experience at both guard and tackle), size, toughness, and power up front in the trenches, Cody Whitehair has the ability to excel in the NFL immediately.

Whitehair was a four-year starter and team captain in 2015 at Kansas State.  His hard work, relentless motor, and leadership qualities would be an ideal fit for any team willing to pull the trigger in the draft room.

He has short arms and can have trouble when blocking in space on occasion , however, his core strength and balance make up for it. He could very well be the safest pick in the offensive line department in the upcoming draft.

Watch Whitehair show off his strength and athleticism at both guard and tackle:

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How he could fit in with the New Orleans Saints:
It’s not rocket science — Drew Brees must be kept well-protected during his final years with the New Orleans Saints.  His performance isn’t declining, but with age, his body certainly isn’t getting any sturdier.

This makes Cody Whitehair an intriguing prospect for a team with question marks at the guard position, where at the moment, Tim Lelito is expected to start on the left side with an inexperienced Senio Kelemete taking over for Jahri Evans (released this offseason) on the right.

Since the New Orleans Saints failed to address the massive need for a guard in free agency, it’s expected they’ll target one (or two) in the NFL Draft.

Guards typically don’t get drafted too high, but Whitehair could be an exception, as he is arguably the best among the incoming rookie class.  If he’s available to the New Orleans Saints in the second round, he’ll be tough to pass on — he should become a generous payoff very quickly.

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