After Further Review: Five takes on Saints drafting Clemson defensive tackle Bryan Bresee

Clemson Tigers defensive tackle Bryan Bresee (11) was an obvious choice for the Saints. (AP...
Clemson Tigers defensive tackle Bryan Bresee (11) was an obvious choice for the Saints. (AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman)(Jacob Kupferman | AP)
Published: Apr. 28, 2023 at 7:34 AM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Take one: Bresee the favorite all along

Throughout the entire draft process, Bryan Bresee to the Saints just made sense. In both of my mock drafts Bresee was the choice as he was for many others. He checked all the boxes the team looks for in size, athleticism and character. He’s had to overcome unthinkable tragedy with the death of his younger sister last year. He’s battled through injury.

It rarely falls exactly how you think it will, especially when a team picks as late as the Saints were scheduled too. But in this case, it did. It played out perfectly for Bresee to be available when the Saints were up at 29.

He was one of their highest graded players available and fills the team’s biggest need at defensive tackle.

Take Two: Bresee the prospect

At 6′5, 305, Bresee fits the prototype of what the Saints like in a defensive tackle. Bresee, Mazi Smith and Calijah Kancey were the three players at that position most linked to the Saints. Of those three, Bresee was the most well-rounded by showing strength in both the run-stuffing and pass-rushing part of the game. He also provides versatility and can play in multiple spots.

Learning curves in the NFL along the line of scrimmage are different for every rookie. We’ve seen some come in and start from day one like Erik McCoy, and we’ve seen some that needed some time for dvelopment like David Onyemata.

The hope for Bresee will be for him to contribute right away. If he can demonstrate he’s ready, the Saints won’t hesitate to start over other veterans that they’ve signed.

Take Three: No Deal

A crazy thing happened Thursday night.


At least in regards to a Saints trade.

Given their history and Mickey Loomis’ openness about his trading philosophy before the draft, we were all but certain a deal up was coming. But it never did. So we all just waited for 3.5 hours to see the Saints make their pick.

Dennis Allen acknowledged that team did make some calls and considered potentially moving up or moving down ( yeah right) but nothing materialized. When the Bengals were up, and there were two players still available that they coveted, they were then certain to land one of them.

In the grand scheme of things, it worked out well. The Saints landed a significant player and didn’t have to sacrifice anymore draft capital to get him.

Take Four: Quarterback curiosity?

No one thought Kentucky quarterback Will Levis was going to slip out of the first round. It was the biggest surprise of the night.

Levis being available at 29 was almost certainly not a scenario the Saints saw playing out before the draft.

So when Allen slipped in that a quarterback was indeed in their cloud at 29 it peaked a lot of interest. He joked there were a couple of players that we ‘would have yelled at them for taking.’

Was that quarterback Levis or possibly Hendon Hooker? Allen wouldn’t say, but it would interesting to know his close they would have come to taking a signal-caller had Bresee not been available.

Take Five: Other observations

  • Jeff Ireland has now been with the Saints for nine drafts. In all nine, the Saints have used their first or second pick on an offensive or defensive lineman.
  • The Saints don’t draft defensive ends under 6′4. That’s why Georgia’s Nolan Smith was never coming to New Orleans.
  • Just because the Saints didn’t trade up in the first round doesn’t mean one isn’t coming in day two or three. In fact, history has shown they do more deals after the first round is completed.
  • The Saints currently hold the 40th pick in the second round and the 71st pick in the third round Friday.

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