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Saints not tipping hand on eve of draft - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Saints not tipping hand on eve of draft

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Metairie, La - The NFL draft finally gets under way Thursday night with round one and it promises to be a busy and interesting night.  At the moment, the Saints sit at number-27, which means any number of scenarios can take place.  General manager Mickey Loomis met with reporters where everyone in the room knew Loomis was not going to tell them anything other than graciously handling the obligation of taking questions on the draft which so many fans are so curious about.

When asked if there is a position the Saints hope to target and walk away from in this draft with, Loomis answered in one word, with a smile, “Yes.”

Many observers believe the position the Saints would love to hit first in this draft is wide receiver, and if Biletnikoff Award winner Brandon Cooks of Oregon State, or Odell Beckham of LSU were still available it would be no surprise if they grabbed one of them.. But odds seem slim that either would be there.  The Saints have used five of their last six first round picks on defensive players.

"We've had a successful offense, and we have struggled on defense at times,” Loomis said.  “Obviously when you go in the draft and you have one side of the ball struggling you tend to look to that side of the ball. In that sense it wasn't a coincidence."

Defense could again be an option as well.  KTBS draft expert, Director of Operations for NFL Scouting Services, Dave-Te Thomas, has mentioned linebacker is a need that the saints will likely address at some point in this draft as well.  But the team also needs a center.  We have heard USC center Marcus Martin as a possibility, but Thomas has a guard from Miami who he has recommended to the Saints and others who he believes will become an outstanding center.

Thomas told an interesting story. "I was down in Miami and I've been raving about this kid and he's never played center in his life.  His name is Brandon Linder. Brandon did for me what a kid at Duke did years ago. Walked out on to the field, he had his car there. And this kid was snapping, left and right, left and right. Big brute of a guy.  I told him. let's try this trick: roll down the windows of the car, and I am keeping my fingers crossed on this one. Had him snap. 15 straight snaps right through the window. 6-foot-5, 300 pounds, will likely still be there in the fifth round of the draft.  Honestly I'd take him over the kid from USC.  The only center I like better than Linder is the kid over at Arkansas only because I like my centers to be mobile.  I like my centers to be a great trap blocker.  While he's not strong, the best trap blocker in this draft is Travis Swanson."

The Saints should have all sorts of options as they currently hold the 27th pick in the first round.  The draft is two weeks later than usual this year and that has not been good for everyone.

"I don't like the idea of our scouts, our people missing out on their mother's day activities, on Sunday because they are here and not their homes."
Loomis would never tip his hand on what he "will" do, but has no problem clarifying any potential "why's."

"I have seen a couple of things about the age of our offense. I am not concerned about the age of our offense. I am concerned about the performance or our offense. It has been pretty darn good. If you ask me if you we are going to trade our offense for a younger one, no I am not."

Which brings us to one young member of the offense and a story that's getting old.. Franchised free agent jimmy graham and possible progress on getting a new long term deal.

"There is no update on Jimmy Graham."

KTBS 3 Sports has so much more planned for Thursday night when we present our half hour special called "On The Clock." We will look at area players, teams and provide insight not found any place else, Thursday night at 6:30 all the way until 7:00 when the Houston Texans will find themselves the first to go on the clock for real.
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