The New Orleans Saints must prepare for the late-April NFL Draft, but they can’t do it in the comfort of their offices. So where do they turn? A brewery.
There’s no denying the city of New Orleans loves to have a good time. With Mardi Gras held in the heart of the city, the New Orleans Saints know just as well as anyone else how to throw a party.
Well, now one of the staples of the city will be the temporary home of the Saints’ draft headquarters. Yes, you heard that right. It’s none other than the Dixie Brewing Company, owned by Gayle Benson, the team’s owner, making it the quintessential place to set up shop.
“The Saints have set up shop in the new Dixie Brewing Company facility in New Orleans East, which is also owned by team owner Gayle Benson and is closed to the public. Saints coach Sean Payton said the team is prepared to stay at the brewery through the draft on April 23-25 if needed,” ESPN’s Mike Triplett wrote.
The team has been forced out of their facilities by the coronavirus pandemic.
NFL facilities around the league have been closed due to the rapidly spreading virus that was recently-conquered by Saints head coach Sean Payton, one of the few in the NFL circle to have the illness.
But, the draft is still scheduled for late April which will commence in just under 30 days. With the 24th pick in the draft and then numerous later in the next few days, the Saints will look to bolster their roster even more than they’ve already done in free agency.
Having held virtually meeting with scouts and prospects, this draft is going to particularly difficult for those involved to get the full profile that they desire. They just won’t get the same exposure to prospects that they may have received had this pandemic not happened.
However, the impact of the virus might also change the thought process that Payton and the staff are entering the draft with.
“So how do we philosophically then approach the draft this year? I think it’s a great question. You might be more conservative relative to aversion to taking a risk if you don’t have the information you’re looking for,” Payton told Triplett.
Everything about this draft will be more difficult than normal. Without much time and without being at their regular offices, this team will have to morph on the run, and it appears they’re doing well at it so far.