BAYHAM: Mike Detillier On The Saints’ 2023 Draft

Did Airline Drive plug the gaping holes left on the Saints’ roster after free agency left them without key starters?

WWL 870 AM commentator and college football/NFL Draft expert Mike Detillier shares his thoughts on how the Black and Gold came out of the 2023 NFL Draft, fielding questions about the Saints’ questionable first round picks, their trade-in play for a quarterback, why one local college favorite didn’t get to stay in the 504 area code, and other big questions as the Saints begin the second year of the post-Payton Era.

MB:  With the Saints losing so much on the d-line in free agency, nobody was surprised with the front office using their first round selection on a dt. However Bryan Bresee’s injury record has many Who Dats concerned about his durability. Do you think Bresee was the right choice?

MD: Mike, we have talked about this in the past- the draft is about filling needs. All this heehaw about “Best Player on the Board” is just media/fan talk.

It might not be the top need, but it’s in the top two.

Bryan Bresee was my 30th ranked player, so I thought he would go in Round 1.

Bryan is athletic, he plays hard, he’s very good in the chase down mold, and he’s physical.

Injuries happen but what I see is some technical issues with him.

He played in a defense at Clemson that he was constantly slanted and moved around. That’s not his fault, it just what Clemson played but there are some technique upgrades to coming to the NFL and those techniques there don’t equate at the professional level.

Then, he’s high cut. All of 6’5″ as an inside player.

There’s a lot of legs on that young man. Playing outside that would be a strength, but inside it’s not.

It’s about getting low and playing with good leverage and being high-cut it makes it difficult.

Some guys are 6’5″ and are mostly upper-body. That’s not the case with Bresee; he’s leggy.

Some guys have beaten that trait like Chris Jones (Kansas City Chiefs) and DeForest Buckner (Indianapolis Colts), but Bryan will need to upgrade his technical skills to be a full-time player.

He works hard, he’s physically and mentally tough and he can run, but he has to be better at getting would-be blockers off him quicker.

MB: The one pick where there seems to be unanimity of enthusiasm is DE Isaiah Foskey.  Do you like that pick and do you think this is a sign of frustration with 2021 First Round draft pick Payton Turner?

MD: Isaiah is a really good athlete. He can run the field well and he has a real burst off the edge as a pass rusher.

Most folks couldn’t name another player on Notre Dame’s defense and they didn’t have one other Irish defensive player selected. Teams focused on taking him out of plays and he still made them.

Production- he had it in South Bend. He was my 50th rated player- so he went in the area I thought he would be selected.

It’s a two fold situation, yes they have to be really disappointed Payton Turner can’t stay healthy. When he’s healthy, he’s shown he can play well, but he’s rarely on the field.

And you lose Marcus Davenport to Atlanta in free agency and where’s the edge production coming from when they used Kaden Ellis as a pass rusher ? Ellis is in the ATL too.

While Can Jordan can still play at a high level he’s not getting younger. It was a major need to fill at defensive end.

MB: Airline Drive made a lot of folks off Claiborne Avenue upset with their decision to go with Running Back Kendre Miller over Tyjae Spears. Was not shopping local the right move?

MD: I knew some teams had red flagged Tyjae because of his knee issues. It’s just part of the game and the Saints wanted a bigger back- which Kendre is.

Tyjae was my 60th rated player and  Miller was my 62nd rated player. It was close between them but they were two different style backs.

Miller is a strong runner, a power runner who turns power into speed and he’s made a ton of big runs.

He also catches the ball clean coming out of the backfield .

But those two backs will always be compared because of where they got picked.

Miller reminds me a lot of Aaron Jones ( Green Bay Packers) when he came out of college.


MB: The Saints traded back into the fourth round to snag Fresno State quarterback Jake Haener. What type of long-term role you see Haener having with the Black and Gold and were you surprised they didn’t make a hard play for Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker? 

MD: I don’t know how they felt about Hooker. I really liked him. The knee injury really hurt his draft stock. But I’m a big fan of Hendon Hooker.

Jake’s a really good QB prospect. Haener is smart, accurate, he throws a really nice tight spiral and he has fast processing information.

He’s not tall and his deep balls sort of float on him but he’s a winner, tough, very accurate, and he makes good decisions on the field.

I really like Haener and also Old Dominion OT/OG Nick Saldiveri. He played mostly right tackle in college but I like him better at right guard.

I had him a middle 3rd round pick and I know they traded up to the top overall pick in Round 4 to get him, but he’s a player and an eventual starter inside.

MB: Tight end seemed to be a real big need and this draft was said to be well-stocked with talent at that position. Why do you think the Saints didn’t pursue one?

MD: Now that one surprised me. It was a great year for tight ends and I’m surprised they didn’t draft one. I have no idea why they didn’t draft one.

They’ll have to go out and either sign a veteran free agent or trade for one.

They thought they had a blocking tight end who was a good receiver in Foster Moreau but the Hodgkin’s Lymphoma diagnosis has put his career on hold while he gets treatment and that’s the most important thing. God Bless him.

So they have to go out and get a veteran tight end either through pay or trade.

MB: What do you think was the biggest missed opportunity for the Saints in the 2023 draft?

MD: Not selecting a tight end would be that.

Especially with the talent in this draft class at that position.

They are paper thin at linebacker., but that spot they can upgrade via veteran free agency or a trade much easier.

MB:  Did the Saints adequately address their most pressing needs in the draft?

MD: You never address every need via the draft,. Never. Injuries mess with your depth more than anything.

MB:  Finally which undrafted free agents that the Saints signed intrigue you the most?

MD: Tight End Joel Wilson from Central Michigan is one.

He played quarterback/defensive back in high school before moving to tight end. Really good athlete, catches the ball well and he has a knack for finding the open seam downfield.

I like Nick Anderson also. He’s 5’9″, doesn’t have great length, but he’s a defensive playmaker at linebacker. He’s instinctive, he plays violent out on the field, and he’s going to be a very good special teamer.



Interested in more news from Louisiana? We've got you covered! See More Louisiana News
Previous Article
Next Article

Trending on The Hayride