When the Saints drafted tackle Ryan Ramczyk with the final pick of the first round, it looked like he would start his career as a backup to left tackle Terron Armstead and right tackle Zach Strief.
That plan looks like it will be changing in light of Armstead’s shoulder injury. Armstead tore his labrum, which means surgery and a 4-6 month recovery timeline that will force New Orleans to put someone else in the starting lineup. The Saints have Bryce Harris and Khalif Barnes on hand, but Ramczyk looks like the frontrunner.
Strief told Alex Marvez and Zig Fracassi of Sirius XM NFL Radio that starting at left tackle is “asking a lot of” a rookie like Ramczyk, although Strief says he thinks the first-round pick has the right tools.
“He’s got the mental makeup to be really successful,” Strief said. “He’s been kind of a sponge. He’s really excited to get new information. Ryan is really good at being told something, understanding what it is and being able to do it with his body. Sometimes there’s a disconnect there with what you think you’re doing and what you’re actually doing. Ryan’s got that talent to be able to convert a verbal message into a physical action.”
Strief plans to work out with Ramczyk leading into camp, which should help the younger player continue to process what he needs to do to fill in for Armstead on a line that’s also waiting for center Max Unger to get cleared from foot surgery.