Even after signing Jason Smith, the Saints have a glaring need at tackle and will need to find a solution at the position after losing Jermon Bushrod to the Bears in free agency.
With a huge investment in quarterback Drew Brees, who isn't getting any less prone to injury as he ages, the Saints cannot afford to miss out on a solid tackle.
However, upon further review, Bushrod was actually slightly below average as a pass blocker in 2012.
His true value came in the run game, where he rated out as a solid run blocker, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required). With Brees being so advanced in his pass protection audibles, he simply needs competent play from his tackles to succeed.
Alabama tackle D.J. Fluker was a phenomenal run blocker in college, blasting open lanes for Eddie Lacy in 2012 on the Crimson Tide's way to the national championship. Fluker projects out as a right tackle in the NFL, but he represents great value for New Orleans in the middle of the first round.
If he can block well in the run game and hold his own as a pass blocker, which he's proven he can do, he'd be a solid pick.