The New Orleans Saints‘ draft plans could go in a variety of ways and with their two first-round picks, they should have a solid chance to address two key positions.
Bedinger offered this analysis:
"The Saints need to replace the departed Terron Armstead, who left for the Miami Dolphins in free agency.Although New Orleans was able to maneuver $100 million in cap space to get in a favorable cap position, they weren’t able to bring back Armstead, who has been a fixture on their offensive line for years.It’s debatable to put offensive tackle on this list ahead of quarterback or wide receiver for the Saints, but with the decision to re-sign Jameis Winston to a two-year deal, protecting him is going to be hugely important."
I definitely get the argument for left tackle being listed as the biggest need because even if the Saints pass on a wide receiver in the first round, they’ll still be able to land a decent one in the second round. The same cannot be said for the left tackle position.
New Orleans Saints Draft: Is left tackle the biggest need?
As Bedinger noted, Terron Armstead is now a Miami Dolphin, and while the Saints made the right decision in letting him walk, finding his replacement will be a major challenge, to say the least. Armstead battled injuries throughout his career, which is actually why it was smart of NOLA to let him go rather than the contract he received, but he was still one of the best left tackles in the league during his nine years in the Big Easy.
As for who could be available for New Orleans in the first round, the options might be a bit scarce and that’s why wide receiver is the more popular position to mock to them with either of their first-round selections.
Charles Cross was someone I was holding out hope for but he’s trending upwards and might not be available midway through the first round. Trevor Penning is another option for them but there’s also no guarantee that he’ll be on the board at picks No. 16 or 19.
James Hurst is probably going to be the plan at left tackle if the Saints don’t find a potential starting left tackle in the draft but it’d be wise of them to add someone like Eric Fisher in free agency to possibly slide in there.
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What do you think, Saints fans? Is left tackle the biggest need for the team?