Saints are well positioned to make a splash early in the draft

AP

The bad news facing the Saints this year is that they’ve been forced to focus for most of the offseason on getting their salary cap under control. The good news for the Saints is that they have the best stockpile of picks early in the draft of any team in the NFL.

The Saints are the only team with five picks in the first three rounds of the draft: They have their own picks as well as the Seahawks’ first-round pick from trading Jimmy Graham and the Dolphins’ third-round pick from trading Kenny Stills. Those are picks No. 13, 31, 44, 75 and 78. No other team has five picks in the Top 100.

That means the Saints can acquire some good players at low prices. And that’s exactly what the Saints need. Although New Orleans has made plenty of moves to get its salary cap situation under control, the Saints still have less than $5 million in available cap space this year, and are likely to be in rough cap shape next year as well.

It’s an odd thing to say about a team with Drew Brees at quarterback, but the Saints are a rebuilding team. Fortunately, they have the picks they need to rebuild.

64 responses to “Saints are well positioned to make a splash early in the draft

  1. They wouldn’t be in such bad financial shape if Drew Brees restructured his contract in order to be paid differently – $26.4 million is an enormous cap hit every year.

  2. Of course, they also have to replace Jimmy Graham and Kenny Stills. They can probably replace Stills, but Graham? Not so sure.

  3. I’d be more inclined to call it a renovation and not a full rebuild.

    Spiller should be able to provide some of what was lost when Sproles was traded.

    A shiny nice new TE would be nice, but the draft is weak there this year. Hopefully whoever plays TE can provide some blocking, a place where Graham (as great as he was) struggled sometimes.

    I think the D has a bit of a comeback this year. The pieces in the secondary are there already, hopefully improved coverage will create some pass rush, and with the picks we should be able to get a pass rusher or two.

  4. Patriots have five picks in the first 101. One team didn’t make the playoffs and the other won the Super Bowl. Just sayin’

  5. I think I would rather be the Patriots.

    1st Round (32nd Overall)
    2nd Round (64th Overall)
    3rd Round (96th Overall)
    3rd Round (97th Overall)
    4th Round (101st Overall)

    And they didn’t have to trade Gronkowski to the the best team in their division.

  6. I actually think Graham had been exposed as the former Basketball player he was. He couldn’t block my dearly departed Mom and once teams got physical with him he disappeared. Taking Seattles first pick wasn’t that bad a deal at all.

  7. My top 5 draft rules:

    1. Never trade up into the top 10. Too costly and impact players can be found in the mid-rounds.

    2. At all costs, trade down and acquire more mid round picks. Adding more picks allows you to take better players overall. If you swing and miss, it’s less costly in the end. A 1st round bust is more notable than a 3rd round bust.

    3. Stick to drafting the non-sexy picks in the 1st round (OL,DL,DB). RBs and WRs can be found throughout the draft. Unless the WR is a true “blue chip” prospect in the mold of Julio, AJ Green, Megatron.

    4. Don’t try to convince yourself that a player is right for you. Go off of your initial gut feeling

    5. Don’t reach for a need. You can address that need when the time is right.

  8. Lol the Patriots are worse at drafting than the Bucs

    but I still think the Saints HC is over rated , There QB is to old and there whole Defense players & coach are plan useless just because the media kiss there butts don’t
    Make them great

  9. Heres what they need

    1st-DT-D Shelton and B Dupree but Dupree will be gonzo
    2nd-TE-Maxx or Clive
    3rd-OG or WR (Conley?), or ILB (S Anthony?). 2 outta 3 aint bad

  10. I’d rather be the Seahawks than the Patriots or the Saints. Their roster is stacked, they get 19 guys back from IR, and they have 11 picks in this draft. Winning another Super Bowl seems like a foregone conclusion.

  11. Ummm. The saints have a projected 130 mill committed to next year’s cap. With the salary cap projected to be north of 150 mill. How is that in bad shape against the cap next year???? It’s called research. You should try it.

  12. Patriot fans commenting about how well they draft is like Kanye west talking about how humble he is.

    But it’s ok, like soul cycle they didn’t start spinning thier wheels until 2014.

    And let’s not forget, the saints got graham in the third, stills in the fifth and now have a great center to rebuild the interior of that line.

  13. “Patriots have five picks in the first 101. One team didn’t make the playoffs and the other won the Super Bowl.”

    I just want to see how well they do when Brady retires. That will tell you how much of a genius ol’ Bill is.

    I know they had a nice year with Cassel, but it was one year, and they had better team around him.

  14. The Saints are far from some kind of powerhouse team.

    They would not have had their lone Super Bowl win if Favre had not pooped the bed so egregiously in the NFCCG.

    I mean the Vikes had that game locked down before Favre decided to hand it over on a silver platter to the Saints.

  15. Mickey Loomis hasn’t done well in the draft? Jimmy Graham, jhari Evans, Marques Colston, Carl nicks, jon stinchcomb, those fall under diamonds in the rough category.

  16. “Maxx williams is way better than graham”

    You’re right. Williams had much better production…in the Big 10.

  17. “And they didn’t have to trade Gronkowski to the the best team in their division.”

    Good thing the Saints didn’t do that either. Last I checked, Seattle isn’t in their division.

  18. Why does Brees get blamed for having to restructure his contract for the team to be successful. That’s the contract management gave to him knowing full well what it would do in the future. He shouldn’t be held responsible for how the adjust their payroll

  19. The Pats have 5 pks in the top 101. That’s not counting what they get awarded from the Jets for tampering. As for the Pats drafting badly, they definitely miss on some, as do all teams. But, in a recent study done by one of the stat sites they probably won’t let me name, from 2005-14 the Pats were the 3rd best drafting team in the NFL. Every year they are among the top teams in sending guys to the ProBowl. Although, they go to the SBowl so often, most yrs their guys can’t play.

  20. Golly the Pats suck at drafting, they always “lose” the offseason/ free agency, Brady is over-rated and Belichick is bum… They’ve only won 4 SBs in 15 yrs and 9 AFC championships… Yep they suck alright…

    God I love the football knowledge on here..

    You kidz must dominate Maddon huh??? Pretty special…

  21. Funny that most saints fans think they dont need jimmy anymore. Brees is turning into a pick six machine and clearly not same qb he was. Blow this team up.

  22. OK, let’s go over this again.

    Restructuring Drew’s contract does no good against the cap; only an extension will.

    That isn’t going to happen. Drew is signed through 2016, so maybe we focus on 2015 first…

  23. Honestly, I think the Seahawks got fleeced in the Graham trade. Graham become a locker room cancer and prima donna. He can’t block and disappears in big games. The Saints managed to dump what became obvious wasn’t a good re-signing contract and pick up a 1st round pick and a top 5 center in the deal.

    Getting rid of Stills wasn’t about money but character.

    The Saints had lots of talent that didn’t translate to wins because of locker room problems.

    The off season focus has been on rebuilding the locker room while at the same time tackling the cap situation.

  24. Who Dat! Last year was a fluke…watch them return to their record setting 2011 form!

  25. Graham was not a locker room cancer. He was the shiniest toy in the box and the Saints needed a center for Drew to climb the pocket.

  26. osiris33 says:
    Apr 4, 2015 10:21 AM

    I’d rather be the Seahawks than the Patriots or the Saints. Their roster is stacked, they get 19 guys back from IR, and they have 11 picks in this draft. Winning another Super Bowl seems like a foregone conclusion.
    ———————————
    Scoring from the one yard line with 4 plays to get in was a foregone conclusion too. So much for foregone conclusions.

  27. howiehandles says:
    Apr 4, 2015 10:31 AM

    “And they didn’t have to trade Gronkowski to the the best team in their division.”

    Good thing the Saints didn’t do that either. Last I checked, Seattle isn’t in their division.

    True, the Saints are in the worst division in football. 7 wins and a tie was enough to get in the playoffs.

  28. themanfromtheblacklodge says:
    Apr 4, 2015 9:30 AM
    They wouldn’t be in such bad financial shape if Drew Brees restructured his contract in order to be paid differently – $26.4 million is an enormous cap hit every year.

    RESEARCH, try it. If the Saints thought is was wise to restructure Brees’ contract NOW, they would.

  29. The Browns have the 12th, 19th 43, and 77th pick. I would rather have their first three rounds. The most significant differences is the browns have a 1st rounder 12 spots higher than the Saints and the saints have one more pick mid third. Pretty sure the Browns could pick up a second rounder this year or a first rounder next year if they chose to move from 19th to the end of the first.

  30. “Good thing the Saints didn’t do that either. Last I checked, Seattle isn’t in their division.”

    Touche, sir!

    My bad. Old age is catching up to me. I meant conference. Basically, the team they need to beat to make it to the super bowl. The Saints still have the coach and the quarterback which are the two most difficult pieces to put together.

    The idea is to restock without tearing down (very rare in the NFL). Belichick doesn’t get enough credit for that achievement.

  31. “They wouldn’t be in such bad financial shape if Drew Brees restructured his contract in order to be paid differently ”

    Why should he? He knows the Saints aren’t likely to win the Super Bowl any time soon. He’s got maybe 2-3 years left in the NFL. Why should he give up millions of $$ for the better of the team? I wouldn’t.

  32. “Scoring from the one yard line with 4 plays to get in was a foregone conclusion too”

    Strictly speaking, it was 3 plays from the 1 1/2 yard line, but it certainly was the worst play call in Super Bowl history.

  33. “Patriot fans commenting about how well they draft is like Kanye west talking about how humble he is.”

    Pardon me, I know this isn’t a Patriots thread, but just want to respond to the above comment.

    The idea that the Patriots win consistently without drafting well is illogical. Alas, we live in a world where individuals believe what their ideology dictates, not what reality proves.

  34. Cleveland is set up nice as well:

    First round: 12th overall selection

    First round: 19th overall selection

    Second round: 43rd overall selection

    Third round: 77th overall selection

    Fourth round: 111th overall selection

    Fourth round: 115th overall selection

  35. (1) What do the Patriots have to do with anything?
    (2) Saint don’t want to rework Brees’ deal. His play slipped last year and they can move on after this year under the contract as written.

  36. (1). The Pats are in a similar situation for the draft
    (2). Brees is under contract for 2016 too. 26 mil cap hit.

  37. It is actually possible that the Saints and the Patriots both draft fairly well. Saints just don’t ever have many picks — this year being the exception — so when they miss it hurts more.

    As far as the salary cap and Brees, it puts them in worse future shape in they extend/restructure now and he poops himself this year. If he plays well, he gets extended. And why does everyone forget about Unger in the Graham trade? That’s the most important pickup for the Saints in the past 3 years. Their line was never as good when they let Goodwin go to the 49ers the first time.

  38. For all those thinking Graham and Stills weren’t locker room cancers, try living in Louisiana.

    I do, and we hear more about these things than you do. Love Jimmy, but he was developing into a prima donna who has the weird habit of talking about himself in the third person.

    And Stills, suffice it to say he will be sorely missed by businesses along Bourbon Street!

  39. Better protection for Brees & better blocking for stronger run game. Plus better corner back duo & pass rush will make the difference. Back to the Super Bowl this year.

  40. Ted murph. True Brees is under contract for next year. And if they keep him his number is $26 mill or so. However most of that is salary that is off the books if they cut him next year. Though I don’t think they will cut him, if they do or if they trade him there would be substantial cap savings.

  41. Those are picks No. 13, 31, 44, 75 and 78. No other team has five picks in the Top 100.
    ========================

    With the Vikings record of trading picks on draft day, I bet the Vikes end up with 7 in the top 100!

  42. It’s an odd thing to say about a team with Drew Brees at quarterback, but the Saints are a rebuilding team…ah, a rebuilding team: not according to Aint’s fans-this is a SB team…ahem, not…

  43. Yeah, Brees’ play really slipped last year. He only tied for the most passing yards. I think that w/o Graham the ball will be spread around better. Nothing against Graham, Saints offense will not be their problem in 2015.

  44. The Saints are not rebuilding. They lost a lot of games by a few points last year and the defense was horrible. They seem to be shifting gears and changing defensive philosophy. Sean has said as much at the owners meeting and said as much after the season last year. It is a huge disappointment when a HOF QB has a losing year. Drew Brees didn’t have the ability to climb the pocket because the middle was collapsing all the time. Getting a first round pick and a top center for a one dimensional, inconsistent TE who played scared last year and dropped too many clutch passes, and who gets paid like the best in the game, seems like a great way to upgrade your team, not rebuild it. Most of the teams starters are returning. They made some moves to upgrade the team, not rebuild it. There was never any ‘fire sale’ either. The Saints have high expectations with Drew Brees under center, and for good reason. All you haters can hate, but he’s one of the best in the game, super competitive, works very hard at his game and his body, and is a great athlete. Its a pleasure as a fan to get to have someone like that to root for, especially in a league where there are Jay Cutlers and Josh Freemans. Rebuild? Stop saying that, they are making moves to get back to the SB. ‘Rebuilding’ makes me think of teams that plan to lose for a few years. The Saints are upgrading the team and looking for another title.

  45. kepickle says:
    Apr 4, 2015 10:06 AM
    Lol the Patriots are worse at drafting than the Bucs

    but I still think the Saints HC is over rated , There QB is to old and there whole Defense players & coach are plan useless just because the media kiss there butts don’t
    Make them great

    This makes me laugh on many levels, thank you!

  46. cardsaintseltics says:
    Apr 4, 2015 12:07 PM

    themanfromtheblacklodge says:
    Apr 4, 2015 9:30 AM
    They wouldn’t be in such bad financial shape if Drew Brees restructured his contract in order to be paid differently – $26.4 million is an enormous cap hit every year.

    RESEARCH, try it. If the Saints thought is was wise to restructure Brees’ contract NOW, they would.
    —————————————–
    Research shows every elite QB has restructured to a cap friendly contract but one. Even Peyton, I’ll do anything for a buck, Manning did. If the Saints were wise they would have had the foresight to see this coming years ago. This isn’t a Brees problem, he agreed and so did the Saints to his present contract. Shame on the Saints for painting themselves into a corner.

  47. I bet that they draft a QB with one of their high picks. Maybe cash-piggy brees will rethink contract negotiations then…

  48. Brees has offered to restructure but the Saints aren’t interested at this point. End of discussion.

  49. Again if you lived in Louisiana, you would have heard Loomis on a telephone interview, when asked if they were going to talk to Brees about his contract say, no and we aren’t even considering it.

    The Saints management have no interest in redoing Brees’ contract at this time. It came straight from the horses mouth.

    This subject needs to be put to bed. Saints don’t want to do it, so its not happening. And that, IS NOT on Brees.

  50. Really People?!?!
    It’s the OFFSeason…WHO CARES!!!!
    No one wins the draft, no one wins the offseason, no one wins free agency, Yada, Yada, Yada.
    Everyone stop your BMWing and see what happens during the season.

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