Starting The Climb – New Orleans Saints 2024 Draft Profile

The New Orleans Saints season was marred by what many would consider a lost locker room. Despite the preseason predictions of them winning the NFC South they finished 9-8, good for second in the division. They have made some changes in the coaching ranks and now will look to add new talent in the draft.


Laiatu Latu, Edge, UCLA

Matt Goncalves, Tackle, Pittsburgh

Jordan Johnson, WR, Notre Dame


New Orleans has a couple of options to choose from at the 14th overall pick. They can lean any which way, with needs at premium positions like edge rusher, tackle and wide receiver. Taking the most sure thing of the three would be the best best bet, and edge rushers like Laiatu Latu change games.

Latu is as complete a pass rusher as any in this draft: his combination of strength and agility allow him to make plays in every phase of the defense. He showed a rare ability to go speed to power, while displaying elite secondary moves at Senior Bowl.

He can drop into coverage with relative ease, and shows good lateral quickness to cover ground when in zone schemes. Having him learn from Cam Jordan will do him some good as he would eventually take over as the lead edge in the future.

After shoring up the defense for near future, the plan should be to look to stabilize a couple of key positions on the offense.     

The offensive tackle position has been one of the problem areas for New Orleans. Multiple players have played with them, the most consistent being Ryan Ramczyk, who started 12 games. Grabbing a young bookend would shore up the tackle spot for the future and allow the Saints to see the true potential of their offense.

Matt Goncalves is a tackle that has flown under the radar but has all the skill to be a long-time starter in the NFL. Goncalves has the prototype build of the modern-day tackle. The way to describe his play style is “dancing bear” as he is quick in a short area, but strong as an ox. He is a monster in the run game, being able to cover ground with long strides to clear out the second level. New offensive coordinator Klint Kubiak will love this type of tackle in his scheme.

The next position of note will be the receiver position. With Michael Thomas being a possible trade target, they could look to find a stud in the later rounds.

Jordan Johnson fits the agile receiver with size mold. He is a savvy route runner, being able to create space by selling routes and keeping defensive backs guessing. Johnson possesses good ball tracking skills, allowing him to adjust to deep balls and make acrobatic catches with ease. He also has the ability to return kicks and punts as he has good open field moves to create plays. Pairing Johnson with Chris Olave and Rashid Shaheed would give the Saints a deadly trio for Kubiak to scheme up plays for.

The Saints are down but not out.  They can use the NFL Draft as the engine that jumpstarts their ascension back to the NFC South mountain top. They have good veteran talent, and the infusion of youth could see them back in the conversation for contenders in the NFC.

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