Answering reader questions about the Saints.
Last year the offense looked predictable and less explosive. When will the real Sean Payton please stand up? https://t.co/TPNTs4F8Ge
— Replace 12 at 12 (@MrTweetYoGirl) April 7, 2016
I don’t agree with this.
Payton introduced a new wrinkle into the offense with the three-tight end sets last season. And it couldn’t have been that predictable since the Saints were able to force teams to stack the box over and over, which opened up plenty of shot plays for the outside receiver.
If you really watch this team, there are things that will surprise you each and every week.
Sometimes it’s just simple things like having Michael Hoomanawanui run a route behind the line, which then subsequently takes a pass rusher out of the play whenever he lines up a certain way the rest of the game.
Sometimes it’s more complex. Payton was pulling out plays they hadn’t run all year in Week 17 against the Falcons. I’m not sure how that is predictable.
Are there things the offense could do better? Sure, no question about it. There were times when it didn’t feel like a top-five offense last season. Some of the stuff in the red zone could be better. Some of their attempts to run screen plays can be maddening.
But Payton’s ability to call and design plays is at the bottom of my list of concerns.
@nick_underhill Last year they went Peat as a surprise pick in Rd 1.So Tell us a surprise pick at 12 and you can’t use Treadwell,DT or DE.
— Jeff (@jeffalthouse511) April 7, 2016
I’m not sure I really have a surprise pick. However, the one thing I could see the Saints doing that might catch some people by surprise is trading up.
The talent really flattens out after the first few picks and I could easily envision New Orleans falling in love with a player and jumping up in the order to get someone.
That would mean surrendering a pick somewhere in this draft (which could make it cheaper to sign everyone), which isn’t ideal since the Saints have some holes to fill and could use all the picks. I’ve even mentioned how they could use more picks.
I’ve even mentioned how they could use more picks. But if you have a conviction about someone and a vision for how they can help your team, then go get him and worry about the other holes later. Picks are great if you hit on all of them.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t usually doesn’t happen that way.
@nick_underhill How soon will we know if we have something in Williams and Tull?
— Andy Omel (@AndyOmel) April 7, 2016
I think we’ll start to see it with P.J. Williams sooner than we will with Davis Tull due to the nature of their positions.
We’ll be able to see how Williams turns, runs and covers pretty early on in camp. Since there’s not a lot of contact in practice, it will be harder to get a gauge on Tull.
For what it’s worth, I liked the limited bit we saw of Williams last year and I picked him as my breakout candidate in an article that will come out next month.
@nick_underhill Who would you say would be the worst pick at 12?
— Tyler Brockway (@tybrockway) April 7, 2016
Anyone who doesn’t become a core player for this team.
Not all first-round picks have to be superstars. They don’t even have to be Pro Bowlers for me to consider them successful. As long as they become part of the core and are solid, it’s a good pick.f Andrus Peat becomes Zach Strief in the second half of his career and remains at that level until he departs, that’s a great pick to me. He doesn’t have to be Terron Armstead.
As long as they become part of the core and are solid, it’s a good pick. If Andrus Peat becomes Zach Strief and remains at that level until he departs, that’s a great pick to me. He doesn’t have to be Terron Armstead.
Not everyone will agree with that interpretation. But drafting well isn’t easy. So, anyone who can be a longtime starter will be a success.
@nick_underhill If the Saints were to draft a QB in the 3rd-5th. What does it say about Greyson? With just 6 picks, can you risk one to PS?
— Patrick Crosby (@patrickkcrosby) April 7, 2016
If the Saints were to pick another mid-round quarterback, chances are only three end up on the 53-man roster.
I highly doubt that Garrett Grayson would clear waivers and land on the practice squad, and there’s very little chance a quarterback selected in the third or fourth round would end up on the practice squad.
The options would be waiving someone and living with whatever happens, stashing one on injured reserve or carrying all four.
The last option would be the least likely, but it’s not unprecedented.
New England did in 2000 to protect its sixth-round pick out of Michigan named Tom Brady.
— Mike Armitage (@mlarmitage) April 7, 2016
It could be any of the three. But I think it would be a big mistake for the Saints not to do their homework on the quarterback class.
Contract extension or not, Brees is 37. He’s only got a few years left. New Orleans needs to be looking at the each and every quarterback class until they are certain they have his replacement.
That doesn’t mean they have to draft one each year. But if a guy is there that they like, then they should dive back in over and over and over until something hits.
People will complain about wasting picks if the Saints keep selecting quarterbacks. But they’ll complain a whole lot more if they don’t find a replacement and end up trapped in a decade of darkness.