The New Orleans Saints have shown once again that you can never guess exactly what they’ll do in the NFL Draft and last night was living proof.
As picks started to come off the board in rapid succession it seemed they would do what everyone thought they had planned, or what we thought they had planned to do which was start with defense.
But then it happened….
With the 13th pick in the draft the Saints chose to select an offense tackle, Andrus Peat from Stanford.
Oct 25, 2014; Stanford, CA, USA; Stanford Cardinal offensive tackle Andrus Peat (70) prepares to block Oregon State Beavers linebacker D.J. Alexander (4) rush during the third quarter at Stanford Stadium. Stanford won 38-14. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports
A surprise to everyone considering a few things:
- Payton had hinted weeks ago that they wanted players who could start right away and Peat is a tackle, which there are already starters at with Terron Armstead at left tackle and Zach Strief at right tackle…leading to point #3.
- Pass rusher seemed to be an area the Saints needed immediate help with and Kentucky’s Alvin “Bud” Dupree was still on the board(the Pittsburgh Steelers later selected him with their 22nd overall pick).
- At the concluding press conference following Round 1, Payton said that Peat is going to play tackle so that begs the question of what is going to happen with Strief or Armstead for this season.
The Saints 31st overall pick was another surprise, sort of, when they selected Clemson linebacker Stephone Anthony.
And let me explain on the “sort of” surprise:
- I say surprise because I really thought they’d go with a pass rusher here like Virginia’s Eli Harold or defensive tackle Malcolm Brown from Texas who the New England Patriots selected with the next pick.
- Although Anthony was thought to be the Saints second round pick with the 44th overall selection they pulled the trigger on him earlier than expected.
- Other inside linebackers like UCLA’s Eric Kendricks and Miami’s Denzel Perryman were still on the board which both were reportedly rated slightly higher than Anthony especially in Round 1 consideration.
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I’m not saying the Anthony pick is horrible by any means, just that they took him in the first round when pass rushers were still available.
Payton did say that there were still some “good” pass rushers left in the draft and that they hope to get one tomorrow.
I’m sure Saints fans are saying, “Yeah…me too”…….