Yesterday, the New Orleans Saints hosted 2013 NFL Draft prospect Lane Johnson, an offensive tackle from Oklahoma and is projected to be a very high pick. Furthermore, Johnson will be meeting with the Jacksonville Jaguars, who hold the second overall pick in the draft, on Wednesday. Johnson would definitely help fill a void for the Saints at left tackle, but he might not be available with their 15th pick.
The Saints would almost certainly have to trade up in order to obtain Johnson because if they really want him, they cannot just hope that he will fall to them at 15. While the Saints do need a starting left tackle, defense is still their main issue. The Saints have made some nice defensive additions so far in this offseason, but they still need a little more help for their defense, and many believe that the Saints will go with defense at 15.
However, the left tackle position is one of Sean Payton’s biggest concerns, and he even said that it keeps him up at night. The Saints head coach understands the importance of a good offensive tackle, and as an offensive mastermind it is not hard to see why.
The Saints have one of the most potent offenses in the NFL and the key to a good offense is not just the quarterback, but it is also his left tackle. Johnson could be a perfect replacement for the departed Jermon Bushrod, and we will see on draft day if the Saints will try and go after him.
Johnson is one of the top left tackles in this year’s draft and is very athletic for his position. At 6-foot-6, 303 pounds, Johnson has great size for left tackle and is very mobile as well. He uses his speed and quickness to stop defenders and has an explosive first step. Furthermore, Johnson excels at both run blocking and pass protection, and he is exactly who the Saints need.
There are only a few knocks on Johnson and one of them being that he could afford to add some more muscle to his frame. Also, Johnson will need to sharpen his technique at the next level, but both issues should be addressed with coaching and conditioning.
If the Saints are serious about getting Johnson, they will need to trade up to get him. Furthermore, if Payton wants someone, he usually gets them, so don’t be surprised if the Saints do trade up and draft Johnson come draft day.