Forecast: Saints should make bold move in draft to nab playmaking WR

Forecast: Saints should make bold move in draft to nab playmaking WR

Credit: AP

LSU wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (3) is stopped by Auburn linebacker Jonathan Evans (35) in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012 at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

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wwltv.com

Posted on May 4, 2014 at 10:25 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 7 at 5:57 AM

Ralph Malbrough / Contributing Writer

So what are the Saints going to do Thursday night? 

Only Mickey Loomis knows for sure but I hope they are going to be very aggressive and move to get one or two players. The Saints should try to pull the trigger on a blockbuster deal and go get Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins in the top five. 

(The thought of Watkins and Jimmy Graham destroying defenses is delightful is it not? Did you just get as excited as me?)  

Failing that, if one of the top corners or a receiver like LSU’s Odell Beckham Jr. is still on the board at pick 15 the Saints should try to pounce. It will cost them but a guy like Beckham could give the Saints a potentially elite second target for Brees.

I believe the Saints special teams are their biggest issue with questions at kicker and in the return game. Beckham could be a huge boost on kicks and punts. It will cost the Saints a lot to move up to get him but so what if it does. Experts and fans over value unused draft choices because an unused draft choice is perfect and has never missed a tackle or dropped a pass.

Don’t fear a huge trade.

Mike Ditka traded an entire draft and a future number one pick for Ricky Williams and it set the Saints organization so far back the very next year they won a division title and the franchise’s first ever playoff game. Ditka’s move was dumb because a 6-10 football team is never one player away but the 2014 Saints very well might be one move from a Super Bowl.

I’m not saying Loomis should trade the entire draft, all I’m saying is a bad draft or bad trade won’t ruin the Saints. But one or two great young players could put them over the top. Let’s worry about the future in the future. Right now it’s time to go all in for another Lombardi.

Am I being a huge LSU homer in my love of Beckham? I am. At least I’m not throwing out some name of a guy from Central Western Arizona Valley Community College whose video I watched on YouTube during lunch. To be fair there is nothing wrong with YouTube highlights, especially Odell Beckham Jr videos. The Saints are probably picking a receiver high in the draft so it might as well be a guy we’ve watched for three years.

Beckham might get picked in the Top 10 so let me start a ridiculous rumor to hurt his stock. I heard from a guy who knows a guy that Odell Beckham walks around his house barefoot, takes naps in the afternoon and watches the Notebook before bed EVERY NIGHT.  If true, these rumors make him undraftable.

The Saints have never drafted an LSU player in the first round. It’s time to change that. Odell Beckham Jr. is who I want the Saints to pick and I didn’t even make you read 26 picks to find out by reading yet another mock draft.

When I first started writing this column in 2002 or so over a three-year span I did 21 mock drafts. Then I realized 99 percent of you only care about who I think the Saints will select. It’s ok to admit when you read a mock draft you scroll down to the Saints and ignore the rest. I do it for every mock draft I read.

Why should you care about what horrible player the Cleveland Browns will select at #26? It will be a terrible player because since the Browns returned to the NFL in 1999 they have drafted like a fat person going on a pizza diet. It only seems like a good idea to them.

Hint: It will be a quarterback and he will terrible.

The Saints front office is back from a pre-draft vacation in Vegas so they should be in a gambling mood. They are acting like a team betting big in 2014. 

(It’s ok to admit you are just a little disappointed Sean Payton didn’t tweet a selfie of himself and Rob Ryan from the Las Vegas Strip laughing at the Atlanta Falcons. It’s probably for the best as a tweet like that would have broken Twitter and caused ESPN to stop talking about Donald Sterling for 35 seconds.)  

From the signing of Jairus Byrd to the trade of Darren Sproles the Saints have executed their off season plan like 2014 is Super Bowl or failure. Their only misstep was thinking if they gave safety Rafael Bush a low tender no other team would try to steal him so the Saints had to match Atlanta’s offer because Rob Ryan needs 37 safeties for his defense to operate at maximum efficiency.

The Saints aren’t building for the future. Teams building for the future don’t sign free safeties to $56 million contracts. Teams building for the future need fresh bodies because their rosters are old, terrible, overpaid or a combination of all three. (See Raiders, Oakland) The Saints don’t need a bunch of fresh young faces. They need one or two guys to contribute right now. 

Also, if the Saints use all their draft picks I’m not sure seven or eight rookies have a serious chance to make the roster. The only real chance for a young guy to come in and play without a couple injuries is at receiver, corner, and maybe linebacker.

The Saints roster is deep and doesn’t have many holes.

For example if they draft some random defensive end in round four is that guy beating out Glenn Foster or Tyrunn Walker and making the 53-man roster? If the Saints add an elite receiver, linebacker, or corner to me they are dead even with Seattle in the NFC. Where the Saints are in 2014, I’d rather them come out of the draft with two elite players than a handful of guys who might make the team.

Mickey Loomis has traded up in the draft nine times to get the player the Saints identify as their guy since Sean Payton became head coach. They traded up in round one for Sedrick Ellis and traded a future #1 to get Mark Ingram. They have also moved up later in the draft to get Thomas Morstead and John Jenkins among others. Did all those moves work? Nope, but if the Johnathan Sullivan disaster hasn’t kept Loomis from becoming gun shy nothing will.

Sean and Mickey go ahead and roll the dice because being aggressive is your style and way more interesting.

Ralph Malbrough is a Saints fan living in Houston. Email him at ralphmalbrough@hotmail.com, find him on Facebook, follow him on twitter at https://twitter.com/SaintsForecast or download his podcast at Itunes.

 

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