Is Tyron Smith a better tackle option for the Saints than 2024 Draft prospects?

The New Orleans Saints could draft a tackle with pick No. 14, or they could sign Tyron Smith and use the pick on a different position. What should they do?
NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Green Bay Packers v Dallas Cowboys
NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Green Bay Packers v Dallas Cowboys / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

Everyone who analyzed the New Orleans Saints’ roster expects them to add a tackle this offseason. Ryan Ramczyk recently had a knee procedure, but he’s expected to be healthy in time for the season. As long as he’s on the field, the right tackle position is steady. The questions, however, are about the left tackle position.

With Andrus Peat set to enter free agency, and Trevor Penning not proving that he’s ready to take over, it only makes sense that the Saints will look for a new left tackle. Fortunately for New Orleans, the 2024 Draft has an elite group of tackles.

The Saints may not have to wait until the draft, though. They could also address the left tackle position in free agency. It was recently reported that the Dallas Cowboys will be moving on from star left tackle Tyron Smith. With Smith available, New Orleans will have to decide if of should go after him or stick with drafting a tackle.

Should the Saints pursue Tyron Smith?

Tyron Smith has been one of the league’s best tackles since entering the NFL in 2011. He’s been to eight Pro Bowls and made five All-Pro teams (two First-Team selections). His resume is undeniable. However, there are questions that interested teams like New Orleans will have to ask.

Smith is 33 years old and he has very publicly battled with injuries. This past season, Smith only played 13 games, dealing with injuries to his knee, ankle, neck, and back. In 2022, Smith played in just four games after tearing his hamstring in training camp. In 2021, it was just 11 games played because of ankle injuries, and in 2020, only two games played because of neck surgery.

So between the health concern, age, and the salary difference between Tyron Smith and a rookie, drafting a tackle instead of signing Smith seems like the obvious decision. With the talent in this draft class, the Saints could find a tackle that could be to New Orleans what Tyron Smith was to Dallas for the last decade.