What the Saints should do during the 2021 NFL offseason

NOLA Saints (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
NOLA Saints (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
8 of 9
(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

Target Valuable Positions In The Draft

Overall, the NFL Draft is a crapshoot, with the hit rate being under 50 percent, even for first-round picks.

However, you can significantly increase the odds of a massive payout by targeting premium positions in the draft. Rookie contracts are fixed regardless of position, but the surplus value completely hinges on the value of the position

The most valuable positions are quarterbacks, wide receivers, cornerbacks, and safeties. Meanwhile, offensive tackles and defensive lineman are paid very well on the open market. Thus, these are the positions that would provide the most surplus value.

Just look at the Saints’ top 2017 draft picks:

  • CB Marshon Lattimore
  • OT Ryan Ramczyk
  • S Marcus Williams
  • RB Alvin Kamara
  • EDGE Trey Hendrickson

Besides Kamara, all of these players play positions that are either valuable or valued by NFL front offices. For the Saints to replicate that success, a similar strategy will be needed.

Luckily for New Orleans, this draft class is strong in depth on the offensive and defensive perimeter. In fact, they could trade down from the 28th overall pick, accumulate more picks, and still add a lot of young talent.

At wide receiver, Purdue’s Rondale Moore and Florida’s Kadarius Toney would give Sean Payton elite weapons after the catch, while Minnesota’s Rashad Bateman draws rave reviews for his separation abilities.

Meanwhile, players like Oklahoma State’s Tylan Wallace, Western Michigan’s Dwayne Eskridge, and Houston’s Marquez Stevenson are constant big-play threats.

In the secondary, Georgia cornerback Eric Stokes just ran a sub 4.30 40-yard dash and was very productive in college.

Speaking of college production, Florida State’s Asante Samuel could be of interest in the first round, with Stanford’s Paulson Adebo, Michigan’s Ambry Thomas, and UCF’s Tay Gowan offering value later on in the draft.

From there, New Orleans could also look to attack a deep class in terms of offensive and defensive line depth with later picks. Regardless, the focus has to be on maximizing the payoff of all of their draft picks.

Drafting interior offensive linemen, linebackers, or running backs would not qualify as such.