The Saints surprised everyone when they decided to draft a big, athletic offensive tackle in Stanford’s Andrus Peat. It's was a big gamble, and it has yet to pan out for the black and gold.
And why hasn't it worked for Peat and the team yet? First of all, injuries have slowed Peat down and hindered his development. He has dealt with knee and groin problem over the last couple of years, and it has kept him out of four games since being drafted. But secondly and most importantly, Peat has never been able to settle down at one position.
This issue originally started because of the coaches having doubts about whether Peat's best fit was at tackle or at guard. They tried playing him out at different positions during the 2015 offseason, but he didn't win the starting job at either spot. Peat was then forced into action at left tackle when Terron Armstead went down with a knee injury, but Peat didn't look comfortable and had trouble following the quick edge defenders.
The Saints then addressed that by giving him the starting job at left guard ahead of the 2016 season. Peat could now focus on one position, and he even had the protection of playing next Pro Bowl caliber players Terron Armstead and Max Unger. Unfortunately, this never helped Peat. Armstead couldn't stay healthy, and Peat had to move around the line because of his tackle experience.
This moving around has obviously hurt Peat's development, but that could all change in 2017 if the guys around him can stay healthy. Peat could then develop chemistry with Unger and Armstead and potentially even fulfill the massive hype he had coming out of college. This would give the Saints one of the better offensive lines in the NFL, and it would also make the Peat pick worth it.
We have yet to see if the offensive line can stay healthy in 2017, but if they can it could mean Peat could finally live up to the big expectations we had for him. If he does, then the Saints would have a great young offensive guard on their hands and we could finally drop the talk of a bad pick that has haunted the team.