Making the case for the Saints to pick a right tackle at No. 14

This is a tough situation to be in, a week away from the 2024 NFL draft. The New Orleans Saints need help at both offensive tackle spots: Trevor Penning and Ryan Ramczyk each go into 2024 with their own set of questions, but the Saints only own a single first-round pick. So which side of hte offensive line should they address? We’ve already heard the argument for replacing Penning at left tackle, but here’s the case for targeting Ramczyk’s heir at right tackle.

You need a right tackle to replace Ramczyk, who may not play another snap of football after a degenerative knee condition didn’t respond to offseason surgery as he and the team expected. The question at right tackle isn’t about skills, unlike left tackle. Ramczyk has been limited by his knee injury but he still performed well. It just wasn’t to the standard he previously set. Penning’s development is seemingly more hopeful than Ramczyk’s health. It’s plausible that Ramczyk has little to no time left remaining in the NFL. Replacing him is about when it happens, not if.

The other crucial part of the conversation on his health is that this is a fluid situation. Saints head coach Dennis Allen was initially optimistic on his status in February before doing a complete 180 a month later in March. Even if you think Ramcyzk could play this year, how confident can you be in another month after the draft in May? What does this situation look like when training camp starts in July, or when the regular season kicks off in September?

Even if it isn’t taking shape with a first round draft pick, a Ramczyk insurance plan must be put in place this offseason. High-end options could be available at the 14th overall pick like Taliese Fuaga (Oregon State) or JC Latham (Alabama). This is a deep class at offensive tackle, especially the right side, and the Saints could find a great player in Round 2. But given how high a priority this is and the quality of prospects expected to be picked in Round 1, the Saints shouldn’t wait around and deal with this another day.

Story originally appeared on Saints Wire