The NFL draft kicks off in a week, every NFL franchise is making last minute adjustments to their draft boards. The New Orleans Saints currently have seven picks, one in each round. I know i gave my opinions about who would benefit from being drafted by the Saints in the first round a couple weeks back, but now since i have more information about the mid to late round prospects i will discuss who will fit best in the Saints system. If you follow the Saints like i do, you will know the biggest draft needs for the Saints are wide receiver, line backer, corner back, and offensive line
If i had to point out one need to be superior to the rest it would be offensive line. The center position is a big question mark after Brian De Lepuente signed a one year deal with San Francisco 49ers in mid April. The Saints need to find a replacement quick. I don’t think their is a first round talent guy at the center position, so i still expect they will draft a wide receivers and conerbacks in the first few rounds, but i would not be surprised if the Saints went after a center in the mid to late rounds. A couple of guys that have my attention are Weston Richburg from Colorado State, Marcus Martin from USC, and Tyler Larson from Utah State.
Weston Richburg is built for the NFL. He is listed at 6′ 3” 300lbs. His is very powerful and is able to move defensive tackles with ease. The real concern with him is the level of competition he played against in college.Colorado State is in the Midwestern Conference, which their is really no powerhouse team in that conference, so it’s unsure to me how he will stack up against the level of talent that the NFL has to offer. Marcus Martin is from Southern California, which has great competition Just like Richburghe has a build that is NFL worthy. He also has great quickness off the snap and can reach the second level. One downside is he only has one year of starting expeience at center. Martin has great upside and he could become a great NFL center if he continues to work on his craft. Tyler Larson, is a big guy. He stands at 6’4” 313 ibs and ideal size for a center. He is very quick for his size. He can seal off defenders in the run game and slides into well to pass protection. He has good change of direction to moving targets. He is very dourable, he started the last 51 games of his college career. His main weakness is that he has short arms which can cause problems blocking bigger defensive lineman.
Even though i like all these guys i mentioned, i only think Tyler Larson will completely fit the Saints system. The Saints love to run shotgun, the screen and pitch game. With his quickness to adjust to moving targets and ability to pass block, he will be an ideal center for the Saints.