Mardi Gras is officially over. For those of y’all that aren’t from New Orleans, the carnival season always dominates the headlines in February. However, the month has changed and it’s time to move on. All things considered, March and April will dictate the win-loss record for the New Orleans Saints in 2017.
Of course, the focus will be mainly on the upcoming NFL Draft in late April. On the other hand, the schedule is packed with plenty of other factors that will impact the draft. First, the NFL Combine has already started earlier this week. Today, the on the field drills start for many players that got invited up to Indianapolis. Some of these players may be drafted or end up as undrafted free agents.
In addition, the players will be tested, measured, and timed from everything to the Wonderlic Test to the 40-yard dash.
Soon after, the NFL Pro Days will begin. The NFL Pro Days will begin March 8th. The list is huge. It includes all the universities that will hold a workout in their home field. Above all, this will give a chance for players that didn’t get the invite for various reasons. Usually, these performances won’t necessarily improve draft stock, but it can reinforce the grades and rankings that scouts already have.
Furthermore, there are players that could come out of anonymity to draft status. The players from smaller schools like FCS universities can benefit a great deal. The environment is much smaller and also gives better odds to players that can really get to know some of the scouts that are there assessing them.
At the same time, NFL Free Agency will begin next week as well. This is where the biggest errors have occurred in recent history for the Black and Gold. Look no further than: Jairus Byrd, James, Laurinaitis, and C.J. Spiller. In short, there is no room for error in 2017. This is a critical year for making every dollar count.
The Saints cannot afford to squander away any more money or add to the dead money account. These recent additions have been pure flops. The list runs long. Hopefully, that period is over. The Saints would be better off staying away from these big money deals that give a lot of promise with no return in value. For this reason, the wise move would be to sign some veterans that are not looking for big paydays.
The Saints need players that want to be here in New Orleans, that can make plays and not break the bank. Regrettably, plenty of players get mentioned so often in free agency that their abilities becomes misrepresented by over hyped NFL so called experts. The perception often does not meet the reality. The Saints will need to be “on their toes” when evaluating talent leading up to the draft.
Finally, there will surely be some trades that will go down soon. The rumors are out there bubbling. Nothing much to say here but make sure that the player being traded is the right move. Assessing a value for the next 2-3 years is not an exact science. No team seems to have that magical crystal ball but the New England Patriots.
Make no mistake, that these eight weeks will be the reason the Saints go 11-5 or 7-9.