Saints roundup: Kiper, McShay talk draft

ESPN draft analysts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay broke down the New Orleans Saints’ draft prospects as part of their First Draft podcast series. They both concluded that the Saints have a number of needs to fill -- but also an impressive amount of ammunition to work with after their recent trades.

Kiper highlighted guards and McShay highlighted pass-rushers among other possibilities for New Orleans’ top pick at No. 13.

And Kiper finished with an optimistic take on the Saints’ chances this year -- even after their recent roster overhaul. Kiper pointed out that receiver Brandin Cooks and safety Jairus Byrd will return from injuries. He also liked the pickups of cornerback Brandon Browner, center Max Unger and running back C.J. Spiller.

“Draft well, and all the sudden this team’s not coming apart at the seams as it may look on paper is the case right now,” Kiper said.

Benson on player moves: Saints and New Orleans Pelicans owner Tom Benson spoke briefly to reporter Jen Hale during the broadcast of Tuesday night’s Pelicans game. When asked about the flurry of moves the Saints have been making, Benson said, “We’re just trying to get better. We want to win another Super Bowl,” (via the New Orleans Advocate).

Cadet to Patriots: Former Saints runner/receiver/kickoff returner Travaris Cadet signed a deal with the New England Patriots on Tuesday. The Saints didn’t put up much of a fight for Cadet, electing not to offer him the one-year, $1.54 million tender that would have been required since he was a restricted free agent.

Perhaps the Saints could have afforded that if they weren’t slammed against the salary cap. But then again, they spent heavily on running backs Mark Ingram and runner/receiver C.J. Spiller. So it seems more like Cadet just wasn’t part of the Saints’ plans this year.