According to sources, the Saints are going to meet with this first-round defensive tackle prospect ahead of the NFL off-season.
As the Saints approach the NFL Draft, there really isn’t anything they can’t do.
Last season, we fully expected New Orleans to draft a linebacker or a wide receiver. They ended up going full wild card and drafting a replacement for Larry Warford, knowing they may have to release the Pro Bowler.
Cesar Ruiz, an offensive lineman, ended up starting in the former Pro Bowler’s place over the course of the last season to save the team money. The same thing could happen this year with defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins.
With Rankins’ market value above $10 million per year, there really isn’t much the Saints can do. With the restrictive cap that they have, they don’t have that kind of money to pay him. That is where the NFL Draft enters the picture.
Over the course of the last five NFL Drafts, they have selected Andrus Peat, Sheldon Rankins, Marshon Lattimore, Marcus Davenport, Erik McCoy, and Cesar Ruiz with their first picks in the draft.
Four out of five of them are on either side of the line, so it really wouldn’t be too shocking to see the team continue to use their first-round pick on the line. They could be going for five out of six this upcoming draft.
That said, they could be looking to meet with Alim McNeill.
McNeill had a great three years with the Wolfpack in North Carolina. Out of 36 tackles, he forced 17.5 of them for a loss. More than that, he did it in just 32 college games. That’s over one every other game for the disruptive lineman.
On top of that, he adds 10.0 sacks, one interception, one touchdown, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, and five passes defended. McNeill does just want teams want out of a defensive lineman and that is why he is being highly sought after.
According to Justin’s tweet above, McNeill has already met with the Packers, Jets, Seahawks, Jaguars, and Colts. The Saints will be just the sixth team on his league-wide meeting tour. Hopefully, they become the one that stands out.