NFL Draft 2014: Will the Saints Look for Drew Brees' Replacement?

Below are answers to reader questions submitted Monday. Special thanks to all those that participated. Feel free to continue the discussion on any of these topics in the comment section below.

What do you think the chances are that the Saints draft another TE? Be it for a more affordable option [cap management], or an "insurance policy" in case Jimmy's foot doesn't heal up properly, or maybe even a double TE threat. - Matt

It's definitely possible. The drop off in skill at tight end behind Jimmy Graham is pretty significant. Ben Watson is serviceable but nothing amazing, not to mention old. The only problem is that it's highly unlikely any tight end the Saints draft this year would contribute significantly as a rookie next season. I don't think you'd get insurance or a double threat in 2014. Unless it's in the first round, drafting a tight end would be more of a long-term project for the future.

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If Brandon Cooks or Odell Beckham is sitting there at 27 can we afford to pass on a potential game-breaker, especially knowing the 49ers are looking for a receiver just like that to play opposite Crabtree? - Greg R.

Are you suggesting the Saints should draft a player not because they might need him but instead to keep that player away of another team? I think that would be one of the stupidest moves the Saints, or any team for that matter, could make on draft day. That's a formula for disaster. The Saints need to do what's best for them, end of story.

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If the Saints keep their current roster exactly as is, which player will have the deepest fall-off in performance and which player will improve the most next year? - Ben D.

I'm not going to answer this question and pretend like I can predict the future, so my answer will be based on what might happen. I would love to see Terron Armstead make a big jump in 2014 and show us that he can be a quality starting left tackle. An improved offensive line would go a long way in helping the offense overall. As for the biggest drop off, Jimmy Graham is a likely candidate considering the monster season he had last year. I just can't image Graham scoring another 16 touchdowns in back-to-back seasons. I'd also like to think the Saints passing game will be a little more diverse in 2014.

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More integral for the Saints to keep, Rafael bush or Jed Collins? -Kazmi B.

This is a very tough question, I like it. They both contribute on special teams. From a pure depth standpoint I'd say Collins is more integral because he's the only fullback on the roster. Austin Johnson is listed as a FB on the roster but he's new to the position, having converted from linebacker so he barely counts. Collins only had 15 carries in 2013 but his run blocking is valuable. If the Saints were a run heavy team, it might be even more valuable.

But they're not. And how important are fullbacks really in today's NFL. The position is slowly becoming extinct across the NFL. Considering how much Rob Ryan likes to utilize his safeties and the lack of depth right now at the position with the loss of Roman Harper, I'd say Bush is probably more integral for the Saints to keep.

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What do you think our strongest and weakest positions are as of now? - Robert S.

Strongest is running back. If and when the Saints decide to use their stable of backs properly, they can be dangerously effective and incredibly versatile. The weakest position on the roster is cornerback. There is nobody behind Keenan Lewis.

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Which quarterback in this draft do you think would mesh best with Brees and Payton regardless of projected draft spot? - Connor D.

The only people that could answer this question are those close to Payton and Brees who also have a vast knowledge of available QB prospects in this years draft. There aren't many people who meet those criteria and I am certainly not one of them. That being said, the Saints don't need to draft a quarterback this year so none of this matters. They have Ryan Griffin on their roster.

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Do the Saints choose this years or next years draft to choose a successor to Brees? - Nick D.

Assuming the successor to Brees isn't already on the roster in Ryan Griffin, next year at the earliest. But again, right now I think they've got to view Griffin as the first option.

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How many Islanders games did you watch this year? - Sylvain G.

Maybe one or two, but the season isn't over yet. It's hard to watch here in New Orleans without purchasing the NHL package. I only really pay attention around playoff time. I'm not a good fan by any stretch of the imagination. But I was born and raised an Islanders fan so you better believe I will always be ones. I could never love another football team other than the Saints so you better damn well believe I could never love another hockey team. Even if those assholes are moving to Brooklyn.

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