Let's take up the up the Tackle spots.
Primary battle is going to be at Left Tackle. The most concerning in the eyes of most Saints fans, and probably of some concern to Drew also.
So we have the ever hurt Charles Brown
Someone the team drafted in 2010, 2nd round, pick 64. Hopes were high for the Southern Cal player. After being abused when thrown into the fire, in the Rams upset win of 2010, Brown also went out the game injured. In three years with the Saints, Charles has played in 21 games, and ended last season on IR. And that was at right Tackle, so at best I see Charles as backup for Strief. Can he both step up, and make the switch to LT, well I guess we'll find out.
was taken in the 7th round, pick 234, of the 2012 Draft. Marcel has never played in a Regular season game, much less postseason, and as with many of our Tackles last year was placed on IR.
Enter Terron Armstead
Terron comes to us with the 13th pick in round 3 of the 2013 draft. He played at Arkansas-Pine Bluff, the same hometown as our own HOFer Willie Roaf.
Over his career for Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Armstead has played in 37 games. He started all 12 games at left tackle in his senior season. Armstead really made a name for himself at the East-West Shrine Game, where he performed extremely well. His play was so promising that he was called to play in the Senior Bowl as an injury replacement for Dallas Thomas.
STRENGTHSArmstead is a fantastic athlete for the position. He is light on his feet in pass protection, and nimble when on the move. Agile, moves well in space, shows the quickness to get to the second level and cut off linebackers. Has been asked to pull all the way across the line and has shown effectiveness in doing so. Bends and redirects well. Extends his arms to keep pass rushers at bay. Not overwhelmed by defensive twists and stunts. Does a good job of selling play fakes, draws, and screens.
WEAKNESSESNeeds to improve lower body strength. Can get bull rushed back. Faced sub-par competition. Needs to speed up hands, and be more consistent with his aiming point. Gets to the second level quickly, but will struggle to locate his target, gets lost in space. Will lunge at defenders with his head down in the run game.
NFL COMPARISONDuane Brown
BOTTOM LINEArmstead has been a fast riser in the postseason process. He's got an intriguing athletic skill set. Despite facing sub-par competition in season, he's shown the ability to be a good pass protector, and contribute as a run blocker. He can likely stay outside, although some teams might see him as a guard. He could find himself as a Day 2 pick before all is said and done.
This is to me, our most intriguing player. Ready to start at RT, Armstead is probably our best hope for an eventual LT. I hope he can get a little seasoning before he is throw into the fire, this year, but I feel much better knowing he is on the roster.
Then we have Jason Smith
Jason was the 2nd pick of the 1st round, of the 2009 draft, taken by the Rams. His rookie season ended on IR from a bad concussion. He has largely underwhelmed, and was traded to the Jets for the 2012 season. They released him Feb. 19, 2013 and was signed to the Saints 4-13-13.
Smith has played both LT and Rt, so he has that going for him. He also played on poor offensive teams, and this may be his last chance to redeem himself. Should be a good option for depth, at both positions, if nothing else.
Next we have Bryce Harris
Bryce was signed by the Atlanta Falcons in 2012 as an UDFA and placed on the practice squad. Due to the afore mention troubles we had last year with the Tackle position, the Saints poached him from their squad. On November 25, 2012, he made his NFL Debut against the San Francisco 49ers, but was unable to finish the game due getting injured in the first quarter. He was placed on IR with a broken leg, 11-27-12.
and lastly Zach Strief
Zack was a 7th round pick, number 210, in 2006, and served as backup for Jon Stinchcomb for 5 years before becoming the RT starter in 2011. Zack had his own injury problems in 2012, and while probably still the starter this season, it may be time to start grooming his eventual replacement also.
So there you have it Saints Fans. This is the most important Camp Battles for the Offense, I see taking place this year.