The New Orleans Saints will pick twice during the first round on Thursday, and with the No. 11 overall pick, we expect them to go offense. The team lost star wide receiver Brandin Cooks in a trade with the New England Patriots this offseason, leaving them very shorthanded in the passing game. Bringing in a player like O.J. Howard would give quarterback Drew Brees his best tight end option since Jeremy Graham, while softening the blow left by the loss of Cooks.
There is still some questions as to what they will do with this pick, as they may trade it away to those same Patriots for cornerback Malcolm Butler. Butler signed a first-round tender this past week, clearing the way for a trade to the Saints if they feel he can help their defense. However, they will likely hang on to the pick, and Howard could win up being an incredible talent at tight end in their offense.
The Saints have won only seven games in each of the last three seasons, and questions are starting to pop up as to whether head coach Sean Payton may be on the way out in the Bayou. He is going to have a talented team to coach in 2017, so they should at least be in competition for a playoff spot. The NFC representative in the Super Bowl has come out of the NFC South the past two season, and with the right influx of talent, it just may be the Saints turn.