The New Orleans Saints’ undrafted free agent class is widely accepted as one of the top in the league, it’s not hard to see why:
UNC guard Landon Turner was considered a mid-round pick all throughout the lead up to the draft. The tape from his 2015 All-American season is littered with pancake blocks and man-handling his opposition. He joins fellow All-American offensive lineman Michigan State’s center Jack Allen on the Saints roster. Mickey Loomis did mention they would be aggressively pursuing the o-line in his post draft presser, and they came up big.
The Saints also brought in play makers on the other side of the ball. Defensive backs De’Vante Harris, Trae Elston and Mike Caputo all have a genuine chance of making the roster as depth signings with a chance to make an impact on special teams. Caputo is my favorite of the bunch, he isn’t a measurables guy, his speed isn’t off the charts. He is a guy who just pops up around the ball every play, he is a very smart, instinctive and very well coached strong safety who will be fighting with Erik Harris for a spot in the 53.
The one spot that is yet to really be addressed is defensive end. Sean Payton mentioned Hau’oli Kikaha as an option, this may suit his game more than the sam linebacker position he played last year and is closer to the role he played at Washington. Bobby Richardson filled in admirably last year, but 4-3 end really isn’t his go, I’d expect to see him in the middle of the line more this year. The other wildcard here is fourth round pick David Omenyata, who may be able to play the role with some coaching and a bit of a weight drop. Is Bill Johnson the man to be able to turn him into the player we need? That’s yet to be determined.
There is one big named UDFA who is yet to be signed. One player who had his draft process absolutely destroyed by the NCAA, who waited until it was too late for them to interview or workout for team to deny his medical-hardship waiver for an extra year in college.
Enter Drew Ott, the 6-4, 270lb defensive end out of Iowa. If the Saints were looking for a ready made NFL 4-3 DE, here’s the guy. He played through a badly dislocated elbow in 2015 to rack up five sacks in four games before an ACL tear ended his season. He doesn’t have an elite speed rush to bend around the edge, but has moves and strength to beat tackles one on one, much like Cam Jordan.
The Saints could use some pass rush like this from the other side now, couldn’t they?