The Selection of Andrus Peat Signifies a Change of Offensive Philosophy in New Orleans
Andrus Peat, who looked like one of the top tackle prospects in the draft, had to wait and watch while two other players at his position had their names called. The New Orleans Saints put an end to that wait with the 13th overall pick.
Peat has a huge frame, measuring up at 6'7", 313 pounds with 34 and 3/8" arms. He's a versatile tackle, with the power and run-blocking ability to play on the right side as well as the foot speed and agility to play on the left.
Peat's a superb run blocker. He gets off the ball incredibly quickly and has the power in his legs and hips to generate solid movement, even when down-blocking against bigger defensive tackles. Peat combines this power with great athleticism, and he does a good job taking on linebackers at the second level.
In the passing game, Peat's got an excellent kick slide with great feet, and keeps his balance very well -- he's great at anchoring against bull rushes and stepping inside to take away those moves. His biggest struggles also shine through in pass protection though. Peat has shown struggles with speed rushers, too often opening his hips and lunging into them instead of continuing to set and keeping his base. With some refinement in these areas, Peat can develop into an elite tackle in the NFL.
Having already brought in Max Unger from the Seahawks this offseason, the Saints continue to bolster an already strong offensive line with the addition of Peat.
In 2014, the Saints offensive line gave up 30 sacks, tied for the ninth fewest in the league, despite calling 689 pass plays, the second most in the league. They also paved the way for an excellent rushing attack, with New Orleans finishing the season tied for third in the league with 0.04 Adjusted Rushing Net Expected Points (NEP) per play, a measure of how successful their run plays were versus expectation. In fact, both Khiry Robinson and Mark Ingram finished in the top-20 in terms of Rushing NEP per carry among backs with 50 or more touches.
With Drew Brees nearing the end of his career, the Saints appear to be in the middle of a shift of offensive philosophy. It would be no surprise for Peat to beat out Zach Strief for the starting right tackle spot on the Saints offensive line and to anchor an even stronger rushing attack in 2015.