My case trading up for Noah Fant (1 Viewer)

Nevimeister

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Firstly I acknowledge the downsides and risk: we have next to no draft capital and would need to give up a 1st next year (again), limited number of draft picks over 2-3 drafts (2018, 19 and 20) will bite and negatively impact depth. You're never one player away, TEs are one of the least impactful positions for rookies, does this guy not know we just signed Jared Cook

Despite all of the above, here is the case for making the move:

Drew Brees deep ball. He can still hit some when the offense is rolling and opposition defense is all at sea but when facing elite stop units Brees deep ball is a 50/50 proposition at best. Last year against Minnesota there were no deep shots other than from Taysom Hill. We got shut down by the Cowboys and against the Rams under throws deep were a real problem and could have been worse. A lot of interceptions in recent years have come from deep balls. The reality is we will be rolling out a 41 year old QB and need to maximise the options in short and intermediate areas. It is a formula that has worked for New England winning super bowls with an aged QB, Tom Brady has not been beating teams down the field. Further, Drew has always excelled and been the best in the business on seam routes, being an assassin with big bodied targets (think Colston in the slot, Jimmy Graham and more recently Mike Thomas when lined up inside)

The Saints would immediately be able to roll out 4 playmakers / mismatches every single play in Michael Thomas, Alvin Kamara, Jared Cook and Noah Fant. Defenses and their co-ordinators would be having fits on the various options to cover in the run and pass game. With Sean Payton at the controls he could toy with them but most importantly keep everything running full steam against the best teams and at crunch time in the playoffs. Assuming a base of Thomas, Kamara, Cook and Fant let's look at the offensive options:

#1 Zach Line or Swing Tackle: With an extra blocker on the field and Cook / Fant lining up with their hand in the ground there could be 8 blockers for Kamara, an immediate problem for a base D and plenty of running lanes either for chunks of yards or outside runs. Bring in extra run defender(s) and the Saints can split out Cook/Fant, motion Kamara and it's almost unfair immediately

#2 Latavius Murray: This would be a 2 RB set with Kamara and Murray on the field with Cook/Fant and Thomas. So many plays could be run out of this set. Murray and Kamara both a threat to run it. Kamara motioned out and TEs in line or 1 split out, both split out. Even with Thomas, Cook, Fant and Kamara lined up like receivers there is the threat and option of Murray pounding it. Murray is enough of a receiving set if you went empty there is almost certainly a huge mismatch

#3 Another WR (likely Ginn): Despite my comments on Drew's deep ball if Ginn is on the field you still have to respect the deep threat. Most defenses will play more shallow to cover Kamara, Thomas and Cook/Fant and as this happens Ginn can force the D to play deeper and open up the middle.

#4 Taysom Hill: Teams did not know how to deal with Hill on the field last year. However, the vast majority of times he took snaps it was a run and with a year of film it may prove to be a bit of a novelty like the wildcat. With the receiving options on the field there is more of threat for Hill to pass and a regular option of putting Drew in the shotgun and either having Hill play FB in a Kamara run or another receiving threat

No-one has rolled out a TE one-two punch like Cook/Fant since Gronkowski and Hernandez were rookies in 2010 and they combined for 16 TDs year 1 and 24 in year 2. Cook is not a rookie and New England did not have playmakers like Kamara and Thomas

The player: Fant is more athletically gifted than George Kittle (also from Iowa) and has not been able to shown how dominant he can be whilst playing on the same team as TJ Hockenson and in an old-school offense. As a result he will likely get drafted lower than his talent warrants, late teens or early 20s which would be a range the Saints could trade up to giving up 62 and a 1st round pick next year (top 10 would be too rich). Next year's 1st round pick would likely be 30th or lower again. Quote from Doug Farrar, whose opinion and draft prospect assessments I respect: "If Noah Fant had spent his collegiate career in a high volume passing offense, we'd be talking about him differently. Think Travis Kelce route awareness matched to Jimmy Graham's downfield speed and contested-catch potential. Top-10 player, I think"

 

NOFALCONS10

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I would much prefer a guy like Donald Parham at 6'8 with that 38" vertical in the Redzone for situational sucess as a rookie to pair with Cook.

Caleb Wilson who led all TEs in receiving last year.

Or Jace Sternberner who was second in TE receiving to Wilson.
 

MLU

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Sorry but this makes little sense when Dawson Knox is literally the same skillset and will be available at our 2nd rd and possibly 5th round picks.
No TE in the last half dozen drafts outside the Ingram kid at Ole Miss has Fant's skillset. Knox is still learning the position it seems and is nowhere near as gifted athletically. He's a slightly more polished Jimmy Graham right now, although a little less physical.
 

dutar76

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TEs that should be taken in the first round are rare animals, but they do exist. TEs that are worth trading future first round picks plus other high round picks to move up and acquire... don't exist. You stated your case well. Everything you said is true and I would love to have Noah Fant in New Orleans. But that price is too high. If he were to fall into the second round... at some point it would become a no-brainer for us to package some picks to try and move up to get him. But as you said, he's a rare talent. Somebody is going to take him in the 1st round, or very very early in the 2nd round.
 

RJ in Lafayette

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If Fant is still on the board at the very end of the first round-- which is the reason a team should not trade away future first-round picks--or on Friday, I could see the Saints making inquiries. But tight end is not a position where you trade multiple high picks to trade up. And the Saints need to keep their future picks because there is a chance they make a big play for a quarterback in the draft in 2020 or 2021.

But interesting post nonetheless.
 

NOFALCONS10

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No TE in the last half dozen drafts outside the Ingram kid at Ole Miss has Fant's skillset. Knox is still learning the position it seems and is nowhere near as gifted athletically. He's a slightly more polished Jimmy Graham right now, although a little less physical.
Knox ran just as fast as Fant and had a sub-7.00 3-cone and a 34.5" vertical.

Where exactly do you see a vast talent gap between the two?
 
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TribuneUK

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I'm at least surprised this wasn't about an LSU player.

But no, do not want or need anywhere near enough to move into the region where he is projected to be picked.
 

guillermo

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We have the luxury of a roster that has s almost complete for the season. Only one or two draftees will make the team.

But we are starting to face second contracts of our young players, and some of them will be able to seek higher salaries elsewhere. We have to be really careful on who to re-sign, and we will need picks to replace them.

For that reason I would not commit any future assets to grab a player, andI an all for trad g to get more picks in the future.
 

texasjefe

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Saints won't be trading next year's number 1 for a tight end.

With the defenses they'll face this season, and with the knowledge that the offense late in the last season went from dominant and flying to mediocre and defensible suggests that a new gear is badly needed. Even with the personnel changes on offense, the personnel types are about the same, so scheme is going to have to evolve.

And I think that gear is having Taysom Hill on the field for about 60% of the snaps with Drew. Taysom's accuracy must improve this offseason, and accuracy is not easy to improve.

I haven't followed the draft pool too much this offseason, but if there were an offensive pick I'd like to see the Saints make when their picks come up, it's a speed back that profiles similarly to Kamara.

When push comes to shove late in games against speed and pressure defenses, Drew (and/or Hill) has got to have a speed back to throw to, more than a tight end. Easier to get a back in space than to hope a tight end can create separation.
 

saintlad

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To tell you the truth, those Iowa tight ends do not impress me much. I believe both will have successful NFL careers, however I think we can get a quality TE in in the 2nd round and a capable TE in the 5th.

We need to concentrate on the best player available for the 2nd round , even if it's a boring old O lineman.

With the injury history of Armstead and Peat plus the retirement of Unger, I think we need to get a lineman.


This upcoming season the Saints will face some the top defenses, not only our division teams twice, but the Cowboys, the Rams the Bears the Seahawks , and Houston. We need to protect Drew if this is his last year.
 
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In my opinion, those Iowa TEs don't impress me much. I believe they will have success in NFL, but not worth giving up picks for.

I believe we can get quality TEs in 2nd and capable ones in 5th ed.

Take BPA with 2nd ed, even if it's a boring o-lineman. Can never have enough good ones.
Look at the defenses the Saints will face this year. Our division twice, Bears, Rams,Cowboys, Houston, Seahawks. That 11 games right there, with Injury history of Armstead and Peat de



To tell you the truth, those Iowa tight ends do not impress me much. I believe both will have successful NFL careers, however I think we can get a quality TE in in the 2nd round and a capable TE in the 5th.

We need to concentrate on the best player available for the 2nd round , even if it's a boring old O lineman.

With the injury history of Armstead and Peat plus the retirement of Unger, I think we need to get a lineman.


This upcoming season the Saints will face some the top defenses, not only our division teams twice, but the Cowboys, the Rams the Bears the Seahawks , and Houston. We need to protect Drew if this is his last year.
Yeah I agree 100%. Lots of folks are saying wr is the true need but it’s not. The offense simply doesn’t function without quality OL play and if we’re hobbling players out there to start who are not capable of playing well due to injury like we did the second half of last year, it’s gonna mean more offensive struggles this year even if we get DK Metcalf in the draft.
 

MLU

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Knox ran just as fast as Fant and had a sub-7.00 3-cone and a 34.5" vertical.

Where exactly do you see a vast talent gap between the two?
You clearly have not seen the two of them play. Knox runs like he's stuck in sand and he gets his routes jumped all the time. Also, how does a TE with those physical gifts in a passing offense that prolific NEVER score a TD? No doubt he has some physical tools, but they have yet to actually be used on the field as far as what I saw.
 

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