In the past two years, seven quarterbacks were drafted before the fifteenth pick in the NFL Draft. Many of those guys were picked higher than expected heading into that year's selection process.
So that begs the million dollar question in the Big Easy: How many quarterback-needy teams are going to reach on a player in the Top 10 and which defensive studs fall as a result of that?
Geno Smith, Mike Glennon, Ryan Nassib and Matt Barkley could all be surprise names called before the Saints select at No. 15. Whether they are worth that high of a pick is irrelevant. But the more that come off the board, the better chance Mickey Loomis has at getting a dynamic, Day One starter in the first round.
Sharrif Floyd's sudden and meteoric rise the past few weeks will also help the process of moving players that are the best fit for Rob Ryan's defense down to New Orleans.
There's no doubt in my mind that Loomis and Sean Payton will take the best defensive player on the board regardless of position. This team needs playmakers and depth all across this new defensive scheme.
Let's take a look at who the Saints could be targeting this April in the first round.
Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
This move instantly upgrades the back end of your defense and raises the play of the young players around him in the rest of the secondary. He is the total package you would want in a safety. He can play free or strong in Ryan's defense and even cover the slot or a flexed out tight end. Oh right, did I mention that he's pretty good in coverage, among other things?
The Saints may be parting ways with Roman Harper this off-season. A young duo of Vaccaro and Malcolm Jenkins would be the envy of the league for the foreseeable future. That tandem would definitely help Corey White, Patrick Robinson and Johnny Patrick to be better players at corner.
NFL Draft 2013: First Round Targets for the Saints
Canal Street Chronicles | Feb 19