Will The Saints Go “Mad” For TE Maxx Williams In The Draft?


About three weeks ago I proposed the notion that the New Orleans Saints could land a tight end in the early rounds of the upcoming 2015 NFL Draft.

But at the time I didn’t think that the Saints would even begin to think of looking at the tight end position until the third round.

I had also presented the notion of signing free agent tight end James Casey since he’d be a very serviceable player along with not being high dollar and also providing depth.

Casey however was signed not long after that by the Denver Broncos on a one-year deal for $1.25 million, something the Saints definitely could have swung.

Signing someone like Casey would have given the Saints some wiggle room in the draft to hold off on taking a tight end until even the fifth round.

More from Big Easy Believer

Speaking of wiggle room, there is plenty at tight end on the Saints roster with there only being Josh Hill, Benjamin Watson, and Orson Charles.

Oct 5, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints tight end Josh Hill (89) is tackled after a catch by Tampa Bay Buccaneers strong safety Mark Barron (23) in the second quarter of their game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

For those thinking Hill will take over the throne from the departed Jimmy Graham, well that’s just not going to happen.

Watson will be a free agent next season while Charles, if he stays on the roster, will be a restricted free agent.

The question is do the Saints go with my original scenario and try to pull a “Crazy Ivan” and select a “Mad Max” in the first round?

Well….Former University of Minnesota tight end Maxx Williams that is.

Williams was a player that I mentioned originally as being extremely athletic, speedy, and capable of making the tough catches.

He’s been tabbed as being a first round player since even before the 2014 season ended due to not only his ability, but the tight end position being weak in the draft.

Currently, Williams and former University of Miami’s Clive Walford are the only two tight end prospects thought to be going in the the first two rounds.

The problem for the Saints though is that even though Williams would surely be there for their 13th pick in the first round, that is way too high and they are more in need of a pass rusher at that pick.

At the 31st pick, many analysts suggest that the Saints should take a wide receiver like Walford’s teammate, wide receiver Phillip Dorsett.

While saying that the wide receiver class this year is “deep” might be a bit generous, a better term would be “value” since some teams will be getting very good receivers into even the fourth round most likely.

If the Saints feel that they can get that value in a receiver down the stretch in Day 2 then they could pull that “Crazy Ivan” and take a tight end at #31, namely Williams.

Nov 8, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers tight end Maxx Williams (88) catches a touchdown past Iowa Hawkeyes defensive back John Lowdermilk (37) in the first half at TCF Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

SportsIllustrated.com even used this scenario in a mock draft they did a few weeks ago where the Saints took Kentucky OLB Alvin “Bud” Dupree at #13 and Williams at #31.

If the Saints did go this route I wouldn’t really be upset, but I’d definitely be nervous since their next pick at #44 should 100% be an inside linebacker like Clemson’s Stephone Anthony.

Dec 29, 2014; Orlando, FL, USA; Clemson Tigers linebacker Stephone Anthony (42) celebrates during the second half of the 2014 Russell Athletic Bowl at Florida Citrus Bowl against the Oklahoma Sooners. Mandatory Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

This would leave the third round for the Saints to strike at the wide receiver position which as I mentioned before should still have some good value there.

NFL Network’s Brian Baldinger released his mock draft on Friday which also has the Saints taking Williams at #31 in the first round with Clemson OLB Vic Beasley at #13(a miracle by the way).

One thing I’ve noticed though is that the scenario Baldinger and SI’s mock drafts have aren’t viewed by many as far as Williams is concerned.

In fact none of Baldinger’s fellow analysts at NFL Network have Williams even in the first round of their mocks nor does WalterFootball.com or CBSSports.com just to name a few.

Assuming the slide for Williams does occur then the Saints could even wait to take him at #44 if he’s still available.

Yet, Walter has him being chosen by the Atlanta Falcons at #42 which would be close.

More from New Orleans Saints

Should the Saints pass on Williams at #31 more than likely he’ll be gone even before then, possibly just a few picks into the second round.

Yes the idea of Williams being the pick at #31 is certainly doable, but I don’t know if it’s likely.

Just like the wide receiver position has value later in the draft, so does tight end with Walford being available as well others like Oklahoma’s Blake Bell or Florida State’s Nick O’Leary.

While the Saints could go “mad” for Williams, they shouldn’t be crazy and reach for him…………

Next: HULK SMASH: Spartans ILB Could Bring Huge Hits to Saints