WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. — Andrus Peat is starting to look more and more like a first-round pick with each passing day.
Peat’s transformation has been simple.
The big tackle from Stanford finally has his legs under him.
“I’m feeling good as my legs are starting to get in shape with time,” Peat said.
Peat, who is carrying roughly 320 pounds on his 6-foot-7 frame, said the NFL’s pre-draft circuit of visits and appearances cut into his normal offseason conditioning regimen.
A little sluggish through the first week of camp, Peat often struggled in pass protection early, unable to get into his stance quickly against speed rushers and often off-balance.
New Orleans responded by handing Peat as many snaps as he could handle, and in some cases, a few more. Minor injuries to Terron Armstead the first week and Nick Becton last week opened a chance for the Saints to give Peat more snaps on a per-day basis than any other player on the line.
Peat took 51 snaps in the preseason opener, more than any other offensive player. According to Pro Football Focus, Peat held up well, allowing only two quarterback hurries in 32 passing snaps, although the grading organization gave him a negative run grade.
“He did pretty decent, he did pretty well,” Saints coach Sean Paytonsaid. “He had a couple plays that I’m sure he can clean up, but I thought, overall, it was a good start for him.”
Despite a couple of days making a cameo appearance at both guard spots last week, the Saints appear to be grooming Peat to be the team’s third tackle, a swing player who can also be used as a sixth offensive lineman.
Peat played the same role at Stanford as a freshman.
And now that he’s found his feet, Peat is starting to look like a rookie who can help.
“I definitely like that, especially the last week, or one to two weeks, I’ve felt a lot better,” Peat said. “Starting to really slow down for me, I’m not thinking as much, and it’s coming a little bit easier.”