Visiting the Bayou part 1: New Orleans Saints welcome offensive weapons


In my last few pieces, I’ve given analyses of players I think the Saints may be interested in drafting, and have done so by position – cornerbacks, wide receivers and safeties. Now that the draft cycle has progressed, I can shift focus to guys that have officially visited New Orleans at the request of the Saints brass. We’ll start off by looking at players on offense for now. It’s worth noting that while the Saints had visits from LSU wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry, neither of them had a private workout at the team’s facilities in New Orleans.

WR Marqise Lee (USC) – 6-foot-0, 192 lb. 1st-2nd round prospect

NCAA Football: Boston College at Southern California

The last two years produced a Jekyll-and-Hyde performance from the USC star; his sophomore season earned him the Biletnikoff award whereas his junior year was underwhelming against the high standards he had set himself. Nevertheless, he’s a fantastic athlete with elusiveness that allows him to rack up his YAC numbers. He’s a natural at the position, using his intelligence to create space in zones. He has a knack for using his body to make catches instead of his hands – something that will undoubtedly be coached out of him in the pros. He’s likely to be available at the back end of the first round, where the Saints make their pick – it’s far from a stretch to suggest they’d pick him if he’s available there.

WR Robert Herron (Wyoming) – 5-foot-9, 193 lb. 3rd-4th round prospect

NCAA Football: Hawaii at Wyoming

Here’s a receiver with one of the better hands in the draft. The Wyoming Cowboy also has great speed in his arsenal – it’s amplified by his ability to change direction extremely well. Like Lee, he’s fantastic after the catch – he’s had practice with the ball in his hand, playing running back in his freshman year. He’s not a willing run blocker though, and his route running leaves a lot to be desired. Also, with his relatively short height, it doesn’t look like he’ll be drafted to play wideout – his future in the NFL is as a slot receiver. Though the Saints called him in for a visit, I don’t see a pressing need at the slot receiver position for them. If he’s still on the board in the fourth round though, the Saints might find the value too good to pass up.

C Bryan Stork (FSU) – 6-foot-4, 315 lb. 5th-7th round prospect

NCAA Football: Florida State at Florida

The 2013 Rimington award winner (earned by the nation’s best college center), Stork is a natural leader. His football smarts and general intelligence allows him to lever larger defensive tackles side-to-side. He’s a much better pass blocker than a run blocker, and consistently plays with a high motor. He’s not particularly agile, and often is late to get to the second level when run blocking. Also, his measurables aren’t great – he only managed to put up 20 reps at the bench press at his pro day, and his arms are relatively short. He’d be a suitable fit for a zone-blocking scheme like the one the Saints run on offense, and would make for good competition with Tim Lelito for the starting center spot. He has the size to play at guard too, and could thus back up all three interior O-line spots. His personality is a sure-fire fit for the Saints, and he could eventually grow into a leadership role on their offensive line.

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