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New Orleans Saints to Consider Drafting a Tight End in 2017?

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What round would they grab a Tight End this year?

Michigan v Ohio State Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

As different outlets try to assess the needs for each NFL team entering the 2017 NFL Draft, there has been speculation that the Saints might be addressing their offensive with an early round pick. Over at numberFire.com, the expected needs for the Saints are listed (OLB, ILB, and CB, with DE notably absent), with an interesting addition: Tight End.

The New Orleans Saints had a typical season for them in 2016: incredible, impeccable offensive performances whose high-flying ways were undone by a lackluster and lagging defense. They could’ve gotten better production from the tight end position for sure, where Coby Fleener and Josh Hill turned in just the 12th-best Reception NEP per target. That's a small nit to pick, though, all things considered.

Could the Saints realistically target a Tight End in the draft? If they do, where would they look to spend a pick? Sports Illustrated listed the Top 10 Tight End prospects in the 2017 draft class.

At least three tight ends—Howard, Engram and Njoku—should land within the top 50 selections, Howard and Njoku possibly pushing up into the top 20 because of their athletic upside. Don’t sleep on the group below them, though, led by Butt, once thought to be a potential Round 1 option himself but now rehabbing from a knee injury.

So is there a TE prospect you’re hoping the Saints land? Personally, I’m hoping the Saints take someone like Jake Butt or Bucky Hodges in the third round. But tell us in the comments if there’s a draft prospect you’d like the Saints to pick. How early are you comfortable with the Saints addressing this need?