I’ll say this. Mickey Loomis absolutely plays things closer to the vest than Sean Payton does. He cleverly sidesteps anything that could be revealing, and yet he’s not quite as quick as Goku was following his trip to Namek. His dodges are visible and end up tipping his hand to a keen eye (selfless pat on the back)
For instance, when pegged about “If there were as many first-round grades as there were in previous drafts,” Loomis swiftly denied that to be the case. In fact, it was the quickest and most decisive answer he gave during the entire interview. It was so decisive that it came across as defensive causing me to ponder; why would one respond in such a guarded manner to that specific question if the truth didn’t hold any weight?
In that same vein, when asked about if there were any positions of strength in this draft, he sounded less than enthused. I have a feel for that because when pegged with the exact same question last year, Loomis was quicker to rattle off running back and cornerback as specific positions that had good depth.
This could coincide with the previous flinch in that if there aren’t as many first round talents, picking at 27th overall almost guarantees you’ll be choosing from a second round talent.
As much as the Saints talk about value - sitting still doesn’t appear to present it. The way I see it, there are three options.
- Hope that a first round talent falls to you at No. 27 and risk picking from players with second round grades.
- Package a pick with a third or fourth rounder to move up a few spots and work the strength of the draft (middle rounds No. 80-135) with your multiple fifth round picks and the untouched 3rd or 4th rounder.
- Trade down and risk missing on players you have in a cloud.
With Loomis openly admitting that he’s aware the Saints history paints the picture of a team that is more likely to trade up – one would easily assume that should the board fall a certain way, moving up has a much greater chance of happening than moving back.
If someone shows you who they are…believe them!
- Mentioned Jeff Ireland has really bridged the gap between scouts and coaches on what they are looking for.
- No adversity to picking LSU players, it just seems like teams ahead of them like the same LSU players they like.
- Free agency has not dictated if they go offense or defense in the draft.
- Makeup, Character, Intelligence, and Vision are taken into consideration in evaluation of potential Saints. Somewhere in there is a hint that medicals are something that don’t weigh as heavily as they would for other teams. See Ryan Pace’s opposing response to why they allowed Meredith to walk.
- When a group of guys are close together in a cloud position of need, it has a say in the decision as do positional value and player grade. An example of this was last year between Marshon Lattimore and Patrick Mahomes. Lattimore was the higher graded player, but QB is the more valued position, and yet CB would have edged QB as a need. Though Mahomes was gone before the selection, need and grade would have trumped value and jives with the collective response that they would have chosen Lattimore anyway.
- Stressed that player acquisition does not stop at the draft and they will still have ways of acquiring need positions that they may miss on.
- Fact that Saints don’t care how a player gets there and will play the best player regardless of draft position has aided in their ability to nab late round guys. It gives scouts the confidence to find those late gem “pound the table” guys that they can really fall in love with and feel good about having a shot at contributing. Build that clout, young scout.
- Teams engage in a lot of mocks prior to the draft. Something that I labeled as pointless for fans and outsiders on Tuesday’s show is anything but to the NFL teams. It truly gives them a feel for what may be available to them based on their understanding of the needs of the other teams ahead of and behind them.
- Player evaluations of ascending talents like Al-Quadin Muhammad or Austin Carr do factor into draft decision making, but gets instantly nullified by the uncertainty factor of those same players.
- Saints are fine with strengthening a strength. That translates to they wouldn’t hesitate to take an OL or CB at 27th.
- I counted the word “vision” being used 10+ times in the making of that video.
With nearly less than 24 hours to go before the 2018 NFL Draft, we now know even less than we did before. All positions outside of maybe three or four are on the table as are the options to move around. With Loomis known for Loomising, you can expect fireworks, groans, and moans from fans as their beloved New Orleans Saints look to improve on their 2017 roster with young and cheap talent. One quick name I’ll throw out that could be available...Calvin Ridley - and while you mull on that remember Robert Meachem in 2008. Who Dat!