2012 NFL Draft New Orleans Saints: 5 Offensive Linemen That Can Help Protect Drew Brees
This offseason the New Orleans Saints have a lot of question marks surrounding their free agency situation. One of the biggest question marks is offensive lineman, Carl Nicks, who may or may not be resigned by the Saints. The Saints have one of the best offensive lines in football and losing Nicks would be a huge blow. With that said the Saints need to draft an offensive lineman for insurance and depth just in case they lose Nicks to free agency. Here are some linemen the Saints should take a look at:
James Brown OT, 6’3″ 307 lbs, Troy: Brown has great size for an offensive lineman to play in the NFL. Brown played left tackle during his time with Troy, in which he started 37 games the past two seasons. Also, Brown has enough talent to play either tackle position and that could add some great depth to the Saints’ offensive line. Furthermore, Brown’s stock has risen since his performance at the senior bowl and could prove to be a steal if the Saints are able to draft him. I expect the Saints to be able to draft him with their third round pick if they decide they want him.
Matt Reynolds OT, 6’4″ 310 lbs, BYU: Reynolds has good size to play on the offensive line, but if he is to play on the inside he will need to add some weight to his frame. Nonetheless, Reynolds is a solid prospect who could give the Saints help on their offensive line as he uses his big hands to ward off defenders from the quarterback. However, Reynolds too often bites on defenders fakes and that causes him to miss a few blocks. Reynolds needs to improve his strength but he would be a safe pick for the Saints and they should be able to get him in the third or fourth round. Furthermore, Reynolds can develop with good coaching and can make the Saints’ offensive line that much deeper.
Lucas Nix G/OT, 6’6″ 310 lbs, Pittsburgh: Nix is a player that can give the Saints a lot of versatility on their offensive line. Nix has started three years at Pittsburgh and has played right guard and right tackle for the Panthers. Nix is probably more suited to play a guard in the NFL and is an excellent run-blocker. However, Nix will need to add some weight if he is going to be fighting in the trenches on the next level and he could improve on his pass protection. Nonetheless, the Saints would be getting a solid prospect who gives them experience and toughness. The Saints should be able to get Nix in the fourth round if they want to draft him.
Brandon Washington G, 6’4″ 320 lbs, Miami: Washington is most ready to be a guard in the NFL as he possesses good power and movement on the inside. Furthermore, Washington has great size for the NFL and is very athletic for a guard. Washington has room for improvement in technique, which can be addressed by coaches on the next level. Washington would be a solid pick up for the Saints and if they really want him they might have to use their second or third round pick to get him.
Matt McCants OT, 6’6″ 309 lbs, UAB: There is a lot to like in McCants. First off, he possesses great size standing at 6’6″ and he should be able to add some more weight to that frame. McCants would be a good pick for the Saints to develop, and they would definitely reap the benefits if they work with him. McCants is a great OT because of his long arms and decent footwork. McCants will probably go in the third round but with a good combine his stock could rise rapidly and if the Saints want him they might have to use their second round pick.