Mammoth defensive line Draft prospect Saints should do homework on
The New Orleans Saints need help on the defensive line. Fortunately, there is an option in this year's Draft that may be the answer they're looking for.
It's no secret that the defensive line of the New Orleans Saints was absolutely gutted this offseason. Sure, the Saints plugged in a few new pieces while re-signing some of their own, but there is still work to be done when it comes to stopping the leak. With the NFL Draft right around the corner a realistic option for the Saints may fall right into their laps.
Siaki Ika from Baylor has been drawing comparisons to all-world nose-guard Vita Vea, who the Saints know all too well as a member of division rival Tampa Bay Buccaneers. While a chunk of the lofty comparisons may come from the fact that both players are of Tongan descent, there is much more to it than that.
Simply put, lka is a fine ballplayer. At 6-feet 4-inches and 358 pounds, he is an absolute mountain of a man, possessing the strength which makes him capable of taking on multiple blockers, which allows his outside pass-rushers to hunt. That could be huge for the Saints. They may not have the horses on the outside that they once had, but with a player like Ika clogging up the middle of the line of scrimmage, it could make the jobs of the edges they do have that much easier. Every little bit counts.
While the strength is obviously there, what sets Ika apart is his speed, and lateral agility. He made the lives of college centers miserable, as they were expecting this Tongan titan to run through them, but instead they were left gasping for air as Ika was able to run AROUND them just as easily as through them.
While his workload and snap count may be a concern for some, it's an advantage for the Saints. This can allow a player of Ika's caliber to fall right to them with the 29th pick, and give the Saints a monster in the middle that serves as the motor of the defense that helps it go. Besides, limited workloads and snap counts are nothing new to new NFL nose-guards.
The New Orleans Saints desperately need help along the defensive interior. While free agency was a start, the Draft would be the continuation, and Siaki lka would be the perfect motor to keep that process chugging along.