Last week Will Osgood made the argument that the Saints would not and should not draft an offensive lineman in the first round.
His argument was based both around history and quality among the top-tier tackles in this year’s draft.
As far as history goes, the Saints have made a living drafting lineman in the later rounds and developing them into Pro Bowlers (i.e. Jermon Bushrod, Carl Nicks, Jahri Evans).
A lot has been made of this year’s draft being quite deep, and the prospects at offensive tackle are no exception. Monday cover32 released their top 10 prospects at offensive tackle and the top two guys on the list are bona-fide starters in the NFL.
Jake Matthews and Greg Robinson are plug-and-play guys right off the bat, but if you can’t lock up one of them the rest of the class becomes a bit murky. Cyrus Kouandijo was considered by many to be the top tackle in the draft before the college season began, and now questions about his work ethic and overall athleticism have brought him back down to earth. Morgan Moses – who many consider to be the Saints obvious option at number 27 overall – currently looks to be lacking the ability to change directions adequately in order to keep up with the league’s new version of rush-ends.
It stands to reason that the Saints will draft an offensive tackle at some point in this draft, although we here at cover32 New Orleans tend to think it will happen more towards the fourth-fifth rounds as opposed to the first.
One guy to keep an eye on in those later rounds is Tennessee’s Antonio Richardson. Richardson has been on our radar for about a month now, turning heads with his raw athleticism that seemed to be at-odds with his mammoth size (6-foot-6, 335 lbs.). If Richardson falls to even the third round it may prove beneficial to scoop him up, because a guy like that in a system that churns out pro bowlers from the middle-rounds could be just the thing to solidify the Saints up front for many years to come.
To find out where cover32 ranked Richardson as well as the rest of this year’s prospects at offensive tackle, click here.