The Saints lost Ben Grubbs in a trade to Kansas City, Jahri Evans had his worst year to date last season, Zach Strief isn't getting any younger, and Drew Brees spent a lot of the 2014 season running for his life. Andrus Peat will help with that right away—the 6'7", 313-pound Stanford product could very well be the best pass blocker in this class, and the "finesse" label he's given far too often means that his power in run blocking is quite underrated. This probably puts Terron Armstead on the right side of the New Orleans line, as Peat is a natural blind-side protector. The Saints have another first-round pick with which to grab a much-needed top receiver, so this is a good pick here.
Strengths: Fits the physical mold of a franchise tackle—tall, long arms, carries his weight well. Habitually fires his way to the second (and sometimes even third) level as a road-grader in the run game. Quick off the ball. Shows impressive awareness when on the move, which helps him pick up free defenders. Covers substantial ground on the edge of the line, perhaps most notably when he needs to shuffle wide in pass protection. Good strength when he manages to get his hands on a defender. Will stalemate a foe, then redirect with power the opposite direction. Recognizes blitzes in time to readjust to his target. Very small learning curve for Peat to get his game NFL-ready. Should step in and help right away.—CB
Weaknesses: Does he have a killer instinct? Whichever team drafts him will want him to be more abrasive through the whistle. Has work to do as a pass blocker if he's ever to be a franchise left tackle. Size helps him cover up some mistakes, but smarter, faster edge rushers will confound him if he does not clean up his technique. Is not able to stay low consistently. Balance issues are acute at times—gets off the ball in a hurry but will stand almost straight up, thereby forcing him to lunge. Appears to carry some bad weight in his midsection, so we'll have to wait and see how his game is impacted by some time with an NFL training staff.—CB
Player Comparison: Nate Solder