NFL Draft Needs: Saints

NFL Draft Needs: Saints
Evan Silva and Josh Norris walk through the Saints' top three needs and offer options for each of their draft picks.
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Jets head coach Todd Bowles said he would start a rookie quarterback in 2018 if necessary.

"It depends on the progress," Bowles said. "At the end of training camp, if you’re a rookie and you are where we need you to be, you play." Bowles informed Josh McCown he'll be the team's starter back in March, but that was before the Jets traded up to No. 3 with the sole intent of drafting a franchise quarterback. ESPN's Rich Cimini recently reported the Jets have narrowed their choices to Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield and UCLA QB Josh Rosen.
Source: Newsday
Apr 22 - 11:39 PM

The NFL will meet May 1-2 at league headquarters in New York to continue discussion about player safety.

The "summit" will focus on the future of kickoffs. The attendance list has not yet been finalized, but invitees include former players, team executives, and both current and former coaches. Though there is reportedly no indication the kickoff could be eliminated as early as this season, this particular meeting will occur just over one month after the league added a "targeting" penalty. League offices have also prepared a memorandum to address the increase in training camp concussions.
Source: ESPN
Apr 22 - 6:47 PM

Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio reports the Patriots expect both Rob Gronkowski and Tom Brady to play in 2018.

A source with "knowledge of the situation" told Florio the Patriots are expecting both stars to return for this upcoming season. More importantly, what appeared to be a non-story all along is slowly being unveiled as such. Brady never indicated he was considering retirement and had even planned normal off-site offseason workouts with his fellow teammates. The Athletic's Jeff Howe also recently reported Gronk told members of his inner circle he's strayed from voluntary workouts because "he's happy living life and generally just taking a little extra time away." Both are expected to be full participants when New England opens training camp in July.
Apr 22 - 4:03 PM

Bengals LB Preston Brown received a $2 million workout bonus.

The bonus was negotiated into his one-year deal he signed with the Bengals in March. Brown logged the second-most snaps among all linebackers last season and will likely play middle linebacker over Vincent Rey once Vontaze Burfict's four-game suspension concludes. There's also an outside chance Rey moves to the strong side, leaving Burfict to play the weak side beginning in Week 5.
Apr 22 - 2:30 PM

Broncos GM John Elway confirmed the team's desire to draft a running back.

"It’s hard to predict where they’re going to end up, but it is a deep class," Elway said of this year's crop of running backs. "We feel good about the fact that we’ll be able to get a good one." The Broncos just released their leading rusher from last season, C.J. Anderson, leaving 2016 fourth-rounder Devontae Booker atop the team's running back depth chart. Penn State RB Saquon Barkley could be an option for Denver if he falls to No. 5, though most reports suggest the Giants are targeting him at No. 2. More likely, the Broncos will look to one of Derrius Guice, Sony Michel or Ronald Jones to address their backfield need. That might require them to trade up from No. 40.
Source: Denver Post
Apr 22 - 1:08 PM

ESPN's Josina Anderson reports the Raiders are expected to exercise Amari Cooper's fifth-year option for 2019.

Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie was somewhat noncommittal when Cooper's option was discussed on Friday, telling reporters he didn't want to "put the cart before the horse." However, this was always the expected outcome for Cooper, even coming off a down year in 2017. Cooper's option is expected to be worth $13.9 million.
Apr 22 - 11:45 AM

The Eagles could target running back in the upcoming draft.

It's a position of need for the Eagles, who lost LeGarrette Blount during free agency. Jay Ajayi, who joined the team at last year's trade deadline, is also nearing the end of his rookie contract. VP of Football Operations Howie Roseman expressed regret at not landing one of the top running backs in last year's draft and may look to rectify that by selecting one early in 2018. Former Eagles scout and current NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah had Philadelphia taking Georgia RB Sony Michel with the 32nd pick in his latest mock draft. If that prediction comes true, it would be the first time the Eagles drafted a running back in the first round since 1986.
Apr 22 - 11:12 AM

ESPN's Jordan Raanan said "don't be surprised" if the Giants look to trade OT Ereck Flowers during the draft.

The former first-round pick has been a no-show for offseason workouts, a decision that has not been "well-received" within the organization. Even with Flowers due a reasonable $2.4 million in the final year of his rookie deal—the Giants are expected to decline his fifth-year option—the 23-year-old may struggle to draw trade interest. One anonymous NFC scout told Raanan he "wouldn't want him in the building" while adding that Flowers "sounds like he's not worth the trouble." Flowers earned PFF's No. 63 tackle grade out of 83 qualifiers last year.
Source: ESPN.com
Apr 22 - 9:16 AM
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