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New Orleans Saints: Analyzing the 2021 NFL Draft by position

MIAMI, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 05: Caleb Farley #3 of the Virginia Tech Hokies celebrates with teammates against the Miami Hurricanes during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium on October 05, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 05: Caleb Farley #3 of the Virginia Tech Hokies celebrates with teammates against the Miami Hurricanes during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium on October 05, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

Tight End

Long-Term Need at Position: Medium

The Saints selected Adam Trautman in the third round last year, but he profiles more as a strong in-line option and a sure-handed target in the intermediate passing game that would work best in conjunction with a more dynamic option as well.

Remember, Payton likes the vary the personal packages he uses, so having multiple tight ends on the roster is important.

First-Round Value: None

Hey, maybe Kyle Pitts will fall to the 28th overall selection. In all reality, the only way Saints fans will be seeing Pitts is likely as a member of the Falcons, and there are no other tight ends expected to be drafted in the first round.

Other Options

  • Pat Freiermuth, Penn State (Rank: 47)
  • Hunter Long, Boston College (Rank: 73)
  • Brevin Jordan, Miami (Rank: 80)
  • Kylen Granson, SMU (Rank: 130)

It’s hard to get a read on how the tight end class will end up being drafted, though Freiermuth will likely be drafted the highest. He immediately produced at Penn State as a freshman and was able to work down the field in college, which is something that Hunter Long did as well.

Both have the luxury of a large catch radius (6’5″, 250+ pounds), which meshes well with Winston, though Payton likes the idea of different weapons, so Jordan’s abilities after the catch could be very intriguing as an H-back; Granson fits that same mold and may. be available as late as the final round.

Buyer Beware

  • None?

There really aren’t any tight ends that are expected to be over-drafted, based on my model. The league generally does a good job of not overvaluing non-elite players at the position, and there is still value in them as offensive playmakers.

As long as it’s not in the first round, New Orleans should be comfortable with the players available.

Overview

I’m very intrigued by the Saints potentially using one of their third-round picks on a tight end. Of the bunch, Long meshes the best with Winston, but I think Jordan’s overall dynamism profiles the best with Trautman, who can make up for Jordan’s concerns from not being seen as an in-line option.

Generally, tight end is a very valued aspect in a Sean Payton offense, so no one should be surprised if he isn’t satisfied with the current state of the roster moving forward.

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