CHICAGO (WVUE) - The Saints addressed both sides of the ball with their two first round picks in the 2015 draft. At 13, the Saints took Stanford offensive tackle Andrus Peat. Then at 31, they grabbed Clemson inside linebacker Stephone Anthony.
The Peat selection was somewhat of a surprise given the Saints needs at other positions, but coach Sean Payton said the grade on him was too high too ignore.
"He was the highest graded player on our board, " Payton said.
Payton said the competition at tackle between Terron Armstead, Zach Strief and Peat will work itself out.
A native of Mesa, Ariz., Peat's father Todd, played six seasons in the NFL for the St. Louis/Phoenix Cardinals (1987-89) and Los Angeles Raiders (1990, 1992-93).
Anthony is 6'3, 243 pounds and can play both inside and outside linebacker though he will likely project to play on the inside. Payton said the team spent a lot of time scouting the Clemson studying prospects and his intangibles are what his former coaches and teammates rave about.
He was the first inside linebacker taken in the draft and has a shot to contribute right away given the teams lack of depth at the position.
Anthony was the first linebacker taken in the first round by New Orleans since Mark Fields in 1995. He is only the fourth linebacker taken in the first round by New Orleans all-time, joining Fields, Alvin Toles (1985) and Rick Middleton (1974).