The pick: Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State
Goedert is a man’s man. It’s as simple as that. He stands 6’ 5” tall and weighs over 250 pounds. His agility and route running ability would fool you into thinking he wasn’t so huge. But, Goedert is a prototype tight end in today’s NFL.
That’s perfect for New Orleans. Both Coby Fleener and Josh Hill ranked in the bottom-10 in the league for targeted tight ends. They both averaged less than two targets per game. That’s bad, as Brees averaged over 30 pass attempts per game this season.
The troubles at tight end have been apparent since Graham was traded to the Seahawks in 2015. These past three seasons have felt like an eternity for that position. Fleener was supposed to be a savior from Indianapolis, but it’s been a terrible stint. He had just 50 receptions for 631 yards his first year in New Orleans. Last season, a concussion cut his somewhat impressive season short.
Fleener still has three years and over $20 million left on his contract. New Orleans would be smart to cut him, as they can get just as much production, if not a whole lot more, out of Goedert and his rookie-scale contract. In 13 games as a junior in 2016, Goedert compiled 92 catches for 1,293 yards and 14 touchdowns.
He followed that up with a 77-catch, 1,111-yard, and 7-touchdown season as a send off from South Dakota State. If there’s any knock on Goedert, it’s his lack of playing time against Division I talent. However, if a guy like Carson Wentz is any indication of that downward trend, the Saints will be just fine with Goedert. He was also a finalist for the Walter Payton Award as the top player in the Football Championship Subdivision in 2016.
Red zone target or over-the-middle safety net. Goedert could spend his rookie year backing up Hill, even. He will still be able to provide his play making ability, while learning from afar, getting himself prepared to, hopefully, dominate as a tight end for the Saints.