Never in my wildest imagination would I have expected the New Orleans Saints to draft an offensive lineman in the first round. In preparation for the draft, I did a study to determine the Loomis-Payton draft philosophy. One of prevailing factors was the in-house development of offensive linemen either undrafted or drafted in the later rounds. With Drew Brees‘ accuracy and quick release, the Saints could afford to wait in the draft to take a lineman in a later round or so I thought.  When Pete Prisco of CBS Sports predicted an offensive linemen for the Saints in the first round, I bravely made a jersey bet.


https://twitter.com/PriscoCBS/status/593880882995273729

Well, I guess I’m wearing a Prisco jersey this year but I really don’t mind cause Andrus Peat is in the house.  Sean Payton has a vision for Peat as a player at either the right or the left tackle position.  During rookie mini-camp, he has been lining up primarily at right tackle but has taken some snaps at left.  (The Saints prize versatility in their linemen).

“Offensive tackle we viewed as a position that wasn’t a high priority in the draft, but it is certainly a position we would call a ‘need’ position. Maybe not a ‘must’, but a ‘need’. First off, we value the offensive and defensive lines in the draft. The tackle position is extremely hard to fill in free agency so it’s a position that’s valued very highly in the draft. I don’t know that we went into the draft saying we must have a tackle, especially in the first round. Yet it was an area when we talked about the nine picks, what we would like to have happen in these nine selections, and one of those was an offensive tackle.”  “I love the way this guy plays. I absolutely love it.”

Why Andrus Peat is a RePeat and That is a Good Thing

In his post draft review, Payton mentioned his high school relationship with Andrus Peat’s father, Todd Peat.  Todd Peat is a former offensive tackle who played for seven seasons in the National Football League for the St. Louis/Phoenix Cardinals and Los Angeles Raiders. Did this relationship sway the Saints choice?  Hardly … but I think the father-son coaching may have.  In numerous draft scouting reports, Peat’s correct form and knowledge of the game was lauded. I think Peat has been coached his whole life to be an excellent NFL tackle from his father and then with his position coaches.  Was Peat just coached by dad and passively following in his footsteps–no, his personal passion for the game has been mentioned several times.  Peat’s coaching advantage is now a New Orleans Saints asset.

Tackles are hard to fill in free agency but are also getting to be increasingly hard to find in the draft as well.  I believe this is a dynamic which may have influenced the early round selection this year.  Tom Cable, the offensive line coach for the Seattle Seahawks, had this to say on finding offensive line draft picks especially with reference to the proliferation of spread offenses:

“I’m not wanting to offend anybody, but college football, offensively, has gotten to be really, really bad fundamentally,” Cable said Tuesday on 710 ESPN in Seattle. “Unfortunately, I think we’re doing a huge disservice to offensive football players, other than a receiver, that come out of these spread systems. “The runners aren’t as good. They aren’t taught how to run. The blockers aren’t as good. The quarterbacks aren’t as good. They don’t know how to read coverage and throw progressions. They have no idea.”

After watching the tape of Peat’s highlights, in my opinion, Andrus Peat will start soon and have an illustrious NFL career and I will get to watch his first year in a Prisco jersey.