I noticed 3 points GM Mickey Loomis didn't explicitly say in his 2021 pre-draft press conference with local reporters.
Are the Saints showing their hand hours before the 2021 NFL Draft starts in Cleveland tonight?
On Wednesday, New Orleans' Executive Vice President and General Manager Mickey Loomis has his virtual press conference with local media to discuss the team's approach and intentions for the draft. As Mike Detillier would say, "look for the breadcrumbs," the Saints tend to drop hints while talking to media.
Reporter: Are there any positions specifically that you feel are strengths in this draft, and does your approach change having eight total selections this year?
Loomis: In terms of strength in the draft, I think, you know, really the only thing I'd say is I think it feels a little more, it feels stronger offensively than defensively is probably the best way to put it."
Defensive players are a premium. Expect the Saints to target top defensive talent mainly in the first-to-third rounds. With this in mind, cornerback, linebacker, safety, and defensive tackle are the position talents that usually fall off after round three.
Reporter: I know Sean Payton recently said he feels like cornerback is a priority... do you feel like at pick number 28?
Loomis: ..."you want to be able to take the best player available, and sometimes that's a glaring card that sits on your board above all others, and it may, in fact, most of the time, it's not at the position that you might prefer."
Cornerback is a glaring need for the Saints. He didn't say the team would not choose a corner at No. 28 and didn't identity to position on their glaring card. Marshon Lattimore could be facing a suspension from the NFL under the player's conduct agreement from his arrest in Cleveland several weeks ago. When Janoris Jenkins' contract became an issue, and Loomis released him. The following viable starters are CB P.J. Williams, Patrick Robinson, and Keith Washington. Both a great at coming off the bench - in short, they are not long-term options to start an entire season.
Reporter: "You've preferred bigger linebackers over the years and had kind of shied away from the more 220 pounders, almost hybrid ...did his [Kwon Alexander] fit in this defense change your mind maybe on a prototype at that position?
"Well, look, I think we're always looking for prototype...Particularly with Sean...we're not looking for exceptions in general. ...We're pretty calculated when we go outside of that."
We're pretty calculated when we go outside of that (prototype). Consequently, New Orleans will not abstain from considering a hybrid-type linebacker this draft. It may not be their preference, but today's linebackers must be able to handle taller and faster offensive threats - running backs, tight ends, and wide receivers. Zaven Collins (Tulsa), Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (Notre Dame), Jamin Davis (Kentucky), Nick Bolton (Missouri), and Jabril Cox are candidates in this department.
New Orleans' draft spots in the 2021 NFL Draft:
- Round 1 • Pick 28 (28)
- Round 2 • Pick 28 (60)
- Round 3 • Pick 35 (98) • Compensatory Selection
- Round 3 • Pick 42 (105) • Compensatory Selection
- Round 4 • Pick 28 (133)
- Round 6 • Pick 34 (218) • Compensatory Selection
- Round 7 • Pick 1 (229) • From Jaguars
- Round 7 • Pick 28 (255)
I anticipate the Saints will package a couple of deals after Loomis said, "so I wouldn't say that volume is a priority for us. I think quality is a priority for us."
Draft rumors has New Orleans front-office inquiring to jump into the Top 10 of the draft. If so, hold on, Who Dat Nation; this draft is going to get bumpy!