Sean Payton is keeping his cards close to the vest hours away from the Draft

Kristian Garic
April 25, 2018 - 10:45 am

The Saints draft board is set, the meetings are pretty much all wrapped up.  The scouting reports are written, and the Saints now just have to sit and wait, and wait a while in the first round of the draft that kicks off Thursday at 7pm.

The Saints and Coach Sean Payton are hoping to follow up on a stellar draft from 2017.  The situation is different this year. New Orleans had six picks in the first 105 selections of the draft.  This year the Saints have just two. 

"It's hard to anticipate what's going to happen when you're picking at No. 27.  We went through the board last week. There are a handful of positions we'll look to address, yet we'll be smart about how they fall," explained Payton. 

Some (present company included) think the Saints finally might be willing to move back and out of the first round and pick up a couple of more selections.  I see this draft as deep, but thin on elite players. Typically when that happens teams at the back end of round 1 might look to find a trade partner in the 2nd round that is looking to move up to fill a position of need for them, in particular at QB.  Coach Payton and GM Mickey Loomis typically like to move up in the draft, but i'm not sure that is going to happen this year. 

"It changes year to year. It's hard to move back sometimes, and yet you try to at times. I don't know that we're moving up in this draft. We're preparing to pick at 27, and looking closely at who that grouping of players are going to be," Payton added.

I wouldn't be surprised for the Saints however to try and move their two fourth round picks to get back in the third round perhaps after their 91st pick in the draft (3 round). 

"We do feel like we've got some ammo as the draft unfolds," Payton hinted visiting with the media at the Zurich Classic. 

One of the Saints bigger off-season additions came by way of the restricted free agency market. WR Cameron Meredith signed with the Saints coming over from the Chicago Bears.  Meredith is coming off an ACL & MCL injury that held him out all last season.  Payton thinks he's going to be on the field pretty soon for the Saints.

"He's got great versatility, real good size and great ball skills. He's on pace with his rehab. I wouldn't be surprised to see him get work in our mini camp based on our (medical) reports." 

Meredith could be a really good acquisition if he remains healthy. 

Payton also said, the Saints still haven't checked off the list of 'musts' but intend to so over the three days of the draft. The Saints still have some positions on their wish list, which includes a pressure player, a versatile offensive lineman, Linebacker and Tight End.

Trying to project where the Saints will go in the first round, is pretty much a futile exercise.  Fortunately it won't be an exercise we'll have to do much longer.  The NFL Draft is less than 48 hours away. 

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