Why the Saints would be best suited adding a duo of Alabama linemen

Rose Bowl Game - Alabama v Michigan
Rose Bowl Game - Alabama v Michigan / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

As we continue to near the NFL Combine it's getting easier to look at where a few of the former Alabama Football players may end up heading in the draft. Early on two Alabama linemen may be in contention for the New Orleans Saints and may help the group return to the postseason in 2024. The Saints will pick 14th in the Draft while also holding the 45th overall pick.

With the 14th pick, the Saints should look to add JC Latham to play left tackle for the team. The team may have lost its long-time right tackle Ryan Ramczyk who has dealt with cartilage issues in his knee that have muddied the All-Pro's future. The team has also seen its former first-round pick Trevor Penning struggle thus far in the NFL with some remaining optimistic he'd be best suited as a guard.

The Saints are a solid off-season away from positioning themselves for a playoff run in a weak NFC South. One of the team's biggest issues in 2023 was protecting Derek Carr as the quarterback was sacked 31 times leading to lingering injuries in the second half of the season. Keeping Carr up right should be the top priority for the Saints this off-season which would make JC Latham a perfect candidate at 14.

The majority of the tackles in this year's draft class have exclusively played left tackle whereas Latham has played right tackle making him the best fit if Ryan Ramczyk isn't able to play in 2024 for the Saints. Many of the tackles ahead of Latham in mock drafts are seen as developmental players whereas Latham is seemingly as plug-and-play as any tackle in recent drafts with his blend of size and power. His ability in pass protection while having the size and speed to excel in the run game is the main reason teams should be excited to add a player of Latham's caliber.

On the defensive side of the football, the Saints took a step back, especially in the trenches as the team had trouble pressuring the passer. The Saints didn't have any double-digit pass rushers in 2023 as a few of the team's pieces are starting to show their age. Edge Rusher Zach Baun will be a free agent while the team may move on from some veteran pass rushers to save cap space.

This should make Chris Braswell a perfect fit for the Saints in the second round with the 45th overall pick. The 2023 season was a breakout year for Braswell recording eight sacks, three forced fumbles, and an interception forming one of the nation's best pass rush duos with Dallas Turner. Braswell's size and frame will make him a must-watch prospect at the NFL Combine and could be one of the players we see rise into the first round. Adding Braswell to the Saints would give the team a young pass rusher for the future to help the team build for the next era of Saints football.

A few other Alabama Football players could be fits for the Saints

Besides Chris Braswell and JC Latham, there are several other candidates that the Saints may look at coming out of Alabama. The team may look to add a running back to spell Alvin Kamara which could put Jase McClellan in play on Day 3. Coming off of a career year Justin Eboigbe could help bolster the Saints interior defensive line. With Demario Davis starting to age the Saints may add Trezmen Marshall as a developmental player behind Davis. We could see plenty of Alabama football alumni end up staying local in New Orleans but, for now, all attention is on the NFL Combine.