Left tackle labeled the Saints’ biggest weakness after NFL draft

The New Orleans Saints addressed a few holes in the NFL draft, most notably selecting Oregon State right tackle Taliese Fuaga in the first round. There’s no team without a weakness, and some teams have more than others. The Saints find themselves in the latter position.

New Orleans entered the draft with too many holes to fill with their premium draft picks. You could argue they chose to not fill prominent voids for players who may have their largest impact in future seasons. Bleacher Report’s Matt Holder assessed the condition of all 32 teams’ rosters after the NFL draft. He feels left tackle is the biggest weakness on the Saints’ roster, shared with the division-rival Carolina Panthers, but his logic is a bit shaky:

On a similar note, while Taliese Fuaga ranked within the top-25 prospects on B/R’s final big board, he was listed as a guard due to concerns about his ability to hold up in pass protection on the edge.

However, the Saints spent a first-round pick on Fuaga to replace Trevor Penning.

Essentially, all New Orleans did was swap out one tackle prospect who is a great run-blocker but better suited on the inside since he’ll likely struggle with NFL speed rushers for another one. Also, the Oregon State product exclusively lined up at right tackle in college, so he’ll be switching positions this season.

Left tackle was the second-biggest need heading into the draft. Trevor Penning and Ryan Ramczyk both come with their own set of significant question marks, so it was clear the Saints would address the offensive line early on. Fuaga was the only tackle drafted until their final pick, when they added Eastern Kentucky right tackle Josiah Ezirim in the seventh round. Penning struggled last year, so left tackle could is one their biggest weakness entering the year until proven otherwise.

Holder just came to the conclusion in an odd way. The biggest problem is that Fuaga was not drafted to replace Penning. By all intents and purposes, Fuaga is the heir apparent for Ramczyk at right tackle. Holder clearly doesn’t have faith in Penning either. The Saints’ draft strategy says they believe in Penning to a certain extent. That’s a gamble that must pay off.

Another issue is the Saints don’t view Fuaga as a guard, either. Fuaga projected high as a tackle prospect. This is simply a difference in scouting opinions, but it shouldn’t concern Saints fans. Bleacher Report scouting likely views Fuaga as best suited on the interior due to his arm length. We’ll find out whether that matters when pads come on later this summer.

Story originally appeared on Saints Wire