The annual draft buzz in New Orleans is not what it has been in the past. I guess that's what no first- or second-round picks gets you...no excitement.
The Saints will try to hit on every pick harder this year than in years past, because they have just about no wiggle room under the cap.
Player suspensions from their roles in the bounty situation will also play a critical role in which way Mickey Loomis wants to play his hand: offense or defense.
Also, don't be surprised if Loomis trades out of that third-round pick and goes for quantity over quality.
Either way it goes, it won't be like last year.
ProFootballTalk.com has reported that the Saints have met with nine draft prospects prior to this upcoming draft.
A lot of the names are fringe prospects that will probably be picked in the last round or join the undrafted free-agent pool.
One name does pop out on that list, though: Ladarius Green.
Green is well-known in the bayou, having played his college ball at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. He could add another dimension to the Saints' already-potent attack.
Green could team up with Jimmy Graham and help overshadow the lack of depth at receiver. He could be there late in the third or in the fourth round.
With the Saints' draft starting at the 89th pick in the third round, don't count on any movement upward.
Being at the end of the second day of the draft does have its advantages, though.
With the way the draft is spread out over three days now, picks at the end of the first two days hold a little more weight to them.
If any prospect were to slide to the Saints that they didn't need, they could get back fourth-, fifth- and possibly sixth-round picks for the 89th selection.
Loomis has been quoted recently on the idea of trading down. From The New Orleans Times-Picayune:
We've traded picks away before. I don't recall off the top of my head a year where we didn't have a first- or second-round pick, but look, that has happened before to teams. And we still have five picks -- third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh. So that's five players we can bring in here to help contribute to our team. So we've got to do a great job with those five picks and sign some college free agents after the draft that can help us. And look, I think we get more focused, not less, when you're short at the top of the draft. Because we have to do a good job, and we will do a good job with those mid-round and late-round picks because we have done that in the past.
The Saints are solid in the Loomis era, with draft picks in rounds four through seven. So why wouldn't he want to trade down and double up on picks in the next three rounds if he sees the opportunity?
This is a deep draft at a few of the Saints' positions of need. It works out perfectly.