The New Orleans Saints are in a unique and enviable position heading into the 2014 draft in May. After an 11-5 finish and a road playoff win, the Saints were taken down by the eventual Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks.
New Orleans will return most of the core of that playoff team, and has the skill and experience in place to make another go at a deep playoff run. That’s the good news.
There is some bad news.
Financial woes could lie ahead in terms of the salary cap, and New Orleans’ all-world quarterback, Drew Brees, is nearing the age at which most football players settle into a comfortable recliner.
It’s win-now time in New Orleans and the Saints need to draft like the window is closing fast. There are still some holes to fill and positions of need, but for the most part the Saints aren’t going to be pigeonholed into taking particular positions in specific rounds. It may not exactly be taking the best player available, but general manager Mickey Loomis is going to have a number of directions he can take this team on May 8, and over the subsequent two days of the draft.
The Saints have seven total picks, but they aren’t spread out evenly. New Orleans doesn’t have a seventh-round pick, but has two fifth-rounders. Here’s how the Saints might use each pick.