The New Orleans Saints struggled from time to time on the offensive line in 2013. The weak spot was at left tackle, and when Sean Payton finally had enough of Charles Brown, he called upon Terron Armstead during the Week 15 matchup against the St. Louis Rams.
Armstead was taken No. 76 overall in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft. The Arkansas-Pine Bluff product earned All-SWAC honors in 2010, 2011 and 2012. He was not only an outstanding football player, but he also played a key role on his championship track-and-field team in high school.
He is an excellent athlete for the tackle position where he is quick and light on his feet in both run and pass protection. With his brisk movements and superb change of direction, he usually has the advantage over his defenders. His ability to sell play fakes, screens and draws is far above average as well.
After taking over starting duties at left tackle in Week 16 (Weeks 16, 17 and two playoff games), the Saints allowed only four sacks and averaged 129 yards on the ground, which was the best they’ve seen all year.
Armstead earned his spot as the starter heading into training camp, but will still need to outshine his competition in order to keep his job secure. He certainly has the advantage, but Bryce Harris and Tavon Rooks hope to give him a run for his money. However, I do not see that happening and fully expect Armstead to be blocking for Drew Brees when the new season kicks off this fall.
With training camp only a few weeks away, it’s almost time for the second-year tackle to prove to Sean Payton and company that he is capable of being the organization’s long-term answer on the offensive line.