There’s a perception among some that Mickey Loomis’ philosophy in the draft is rigid an inflexible.

This line of thinking suggests the Saints always take the best available player, regardless of position or circumstances. That isn’t entirely true.

While the Saints, like many other teams, operate under the premise of always selecting the best available player, it isn’t a rigid process. There’s a horizontal aspect to the process where the vertical ranking of players meets at an intersection of talent and need.

Though many teams would like to draft the best players available at every juncture, few actually stay entirely true to the philosophy and fully ignore needs.

“What you’re hoping for is that is that when it’s time for you to pick you’re going to have two or three options, players with like grades,” Loomis said. “Then you can say, ‘Hey, look, let’s take the position we have the most need for with these players here we view as equal talents.’ That’s generally been the case.”

But that isn’t always the case. There are times when the Saints will draft a player where there is no perceived need when the talent is too enticing to pass up.

“Every once in while there’s somebody that jumps out at a position you don’t have a need for that you feel like you got to take,” Loomis said. “We were talking this morning about Deuce McAllister. We had Ricky Williams here when Deuce McAllister was available to us. He just sat so far ahead of everyone else that we had graded when we took him. We felt like, ‘Hey, I know we don’t need a running back, but let’s take him.’ That worked out pretty well.'”