In the second part of the post-Super Bowl interview with college football expert and WWL 870 AM sports commentator Mike Detillier, Mike talked about the state of the LSU football program going into what will be Coach O’s first full season, the staffing changes at Death Valley, and provided some early insight into the 2017 NFL draft and who the Saints might be looking to add to the roster.
See Part 1 of the interview here.
Q.: Let’s go up river to the Stately Oaks, are you pleased with how the head coaching situation played out and the moves Coach O has made on his staff?
A.: Well Mike, you know I grew up on the Bayou with Coach O. He is a year younger than me and I went to Central Lafourche and he went to South Lafourche. I am thrilled for my old friend.
He was able to keep Dave Aranda, who is one of the sharpest youngest defensive minds in the college football world, and bringing in Matt Canada was a real big catch for Orgeron. Also I think bringing in Tommie Robinson who coached at Oklahoma State, Texas and USC is a big plus the way he pushes backs to be their very best and he knows the Houston area very well to recruit. Other than New Orleans that will be the key spot for LSU.
I know Mickey Joseph from his high school days at Shaw and he was the QB’s coach at Nicholls State. He is an old school coach and he will do well with the WR’s. He also can recruit the New Orleans area well.
But the big key for Orgeron will be to develop the quarterback position to the fullest with Danny Etling in 2017 and then in future years with Myles Brennan and Lowell Narcisse. Then you have to match up against the Alabama’s and Florida’s of the world in the trenches. The offensive tackle spots are critical because you have to slow down the top edge rushers and you have to develop those edge rushers at LSU. QB. and in the trenches-those are the keys. Excited for Coach O and they are very talented, but you gotta beat Bama.
Q.: Give me a couple of names on freshman players that could see early action for LSU?
A.: Ok, Offensive Tackle/Guard Austin Deculus and I am a big fan of Racey McMath the wide receiver from Edna Karr.
On defense I think you will see more freshmen play. Outside linebacker K’Lavon Chaisson, middle linebacker Jacob Phillips and safeties JaCoby Stevens and Grant Delpit will see a lot of action early.
Q.: Is this the year the Saints finally take someone from LSU in the draft?
A.: I think they finally do because they are getting tired of answering why not.
Q.: You have always been a big fan of Clemson’s Deshaun Watson, but others on the television circuit haven’t until recently. How high could Watson go?
A.: Yea, they have turned their tune on Watson from a 2nd round pick into Round 1 now. He could go as high as the second overall pick to the 49ers. Deshaun is a money player, he plays his best in big games and he can sling it. Also he is a great leader. I see him going top-5 and going to San Francisco with the 2nd overall pick.
Q.: Sticking with your favorite subject, who is the best player in the 2017 draft?
A.: Cleveland can’t over think this. It’s Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett. Followed closely “ratings wise” by LSU halfback Leonard Fournette.
Q.: Who would you say is the best young quarterback in pro football?
A.: Derek Carr with the Oakland or Las Vegas Raiders… Wherever he plays he is a tremendous young player. Reminds me of a young Brett Favre.
Q.: Who is the most dominant defensive player in the NFL?
A.: I stick with the Raiders in Khalil Mack. Just a great pass rusher, dominant upfront, they move him around and he is also strong against the run.
Q.: Want to give me an early mock on the Saints draft picks?
A.: OK..It’s early but I will give it a go.
1. Solomon Thomas-Defensive End, Stanford
2. Evan Engram-Tight End, Ole Miss
3. Elijah Lee-Outside Linebacker, Kansas State
4. Lorenzo Jerome-Safety/Returnman, Saint Francis (PA)
6. Chad Kelly-Quarterback, Ole Miss
7. Dwayne Thomas-Cornerback, LSU
Q.: Can Derrius Guice win the Heisman Trophy for LSU in 2017?
A.: If he stays healthy and LSU improves their passing game just a smudge to keep defenses honest, Derrius Guice has a legitimate chance to win the Heisman. He is a tremendous back with speed and power skills, he has that little stutter step to evade heavy traffic and he is a tough back. No question he has a legit chance. He is not just good, but dominant. Now, the big key will be for him to play huge in big games versus Alabama and Florida. Those are the watch games for people outside of the South.
Q.: Last but not least, how can folks order your phone-book sized annual draft guide?
A.: I’m working on putting it together as we speak. People can log on to mikedetillier.com and pre-order the draft guide.