General Manager Mickey Loomis recently sat down with reporters to talk about the upcoming draft. Loomis gives some insight into what the team is thinking going into the draft. He adresses the new draft format, what the Saints are looking for with the 32nd pick in the first round, and those unsigned free agents.
Below is some excerpts from the press conference..
On whether the format change impacts the team’s pre-draft preparation:
“No, we’ve prepared exactly the same way. Frankly I don’t expect there to be any major differences this year from the past. I think there’s speculation that the top of the second round will be more valuable because you have a whole day and night to maybe evaluate your board and target certain players. It will certainly give teams opportunity, a lot of time to discuss with other teams trade options. When you have that kind of opportunity, you expect there to be more deals. Beyond that, I don’t think that will have a major impact.”
On draft philosophy going in- whether to draft team need or best player available in the first round and guys who are said to have upside but production hasn’t matched potential yet:
“I think it’s a good question. I think that sometimes changes from year to year. Generally what you try to accomplish in an offseason is to fill enough of your major holes so that when you get to the draft, you’re able to take the best available player and so that’s always the goal. We’ve been able to achieve that most years. You need to pay attention to the holes on your team and if you do have a particular need at a position what you hope for is that the best available player is at that position or at least graded very closely to it.”
On signing Alex Brown and the need to draft a DE:
“Signing Alex Brown is a nice addition for us and helps us with our depth on the defensive line. I think we still have an eye on improving that position, whether it’s through the draft or still in free agency it remains to be seen. We have Anthony Hargrove back; he signed his contract and that’s comforting in the sense that he can play defensive end as well as defensive tackle. I don’t know that I’d say that it’s less of a concern, but it probably is a little bit than when I spoke with you guys a few weeks ago.”
On the free safety situation:
“We have Usama Young, who we feel real good about, and we have Malcolm Jenkins, who we feel real good about and we have the option of moving him to that position. I don’t think we feel like it’s a must need for us. Obviously if we get in the draft and there’s a safety that we have rated really high that’s available at a time that we think it’s appropriate to take him, we’re not going to be afraid to pull that trigger. But we like the guys that we have in our building and we like the option of Darren being out there.”