Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
Armstead may start as a rookie.
By virtue of losing offensive tackle Jermon Bushrod to the Chicago Bears in free agency, at least one starting tackle position has opened up in New Orleans.
Terron Armstead was a workout warrior at the combine in Indianapolis this past February, which led many scouts to believe that he would be a surprise early selection come April.
Despite being a small-school product, Armstead was extremely impressive in the lead up to the annual event at Radio City Music Hall.
Bleacher Report's Sigmund Bloom filed the following report on the Arkansas-Pine Bluff product immediately prior to the draft:
Like last year's small school offensive line stud, Carolina's Amini Silatolu, Armstead was initially projected to move inside to guard by some, but the Combine and all-star performances dispelled the notion that he couldn't hang as a left tackle in the NFL. He'll need to get a little stronger in the lower body, but there's no reason that Armstead won't be tried as a left tackle until he proves that he can't handle it.
Other projections also had Armstead translating into being a blindside protector in the NFL.
ESPN filed this report after the Saints made Armstead a third-round pick in the draft:
The Saints lost left tackle Jermon Bushrod in free agency, and they have replaced him with oft-injured Charles Brown. But he may not be the long-term answer. They also tried four players at right tackle last season with marginal success.
Obviously, the Saints aren't overly happy with their tackle situation. Armstead will likely get a shot to win the left tackle job, and if not, compete on the right side or at the very least be a swing contributor.
The reason I have Armstead on this list is pretty simple. New Orleans lacks any left tackle-caliber veterans and needs to find someone to protect Drew Brees from getting hit a ton in 2013. It doesn't seem like Charles Brown or free-agent acquisition Jason Smith, who have struggled a great deal in their careers, are fully prepared to take on that responsibility.
If the Saints come to the conclusion that Armstead is their best option at left tackle, he will be the Week 1 starter.
According to Mike Triplett of The New Orleans Times-Picayune via Twitter, Armstead got first-team reps during organized team activities last month.
With a strong training camp showing, it wouldn't be a surprise to see the rookie win a starting gig prior to the start of the regular season.