Following the NFL's announcement of the designation of compensatory draft picks for 2014, the New Orleans Saints now know exactly when and where they will be making their selections in May's upcoming draft. Having been locked in to the 27th overall choice in the first round, New Orleans also now possesses the 58th, 91st, 126th, 167th, 169th and 202nd picks.
The breakdown by round is as follows: First (27th overall), second (58th), third (91st), fourth (126th), fifth (167,169th) and sixth (202). The Saints sent their 7th rounder to San Francisco last August in the deal that netted them LB Parys Haralson, now an unrestricted free agent. The 2014 NFL Draft will be held May 8-10.
The Saints were not one of the 13 teams that were allocated a compensatory pick by the league. They lost OL Jermon Bushrod to the Chicago Bears in free agency last offseason, but brought in Keenan Lewis from Pittsburgh. The team would have received a pick had they not added a top free agent signing of their own. The Baltimore Ravens and New York Jets each received four compensatory picks, tied for the most in the league.
With the draft order now set, the Saints can begin zeroing in on the final arrangements of their draft board relative to their needs and desires. The team has made great use of its later round picks in recent seasons, and has also made the most of the post-draft free agent pool of unselected talent. Teams are always looking to stockpile picks, and it stands to reason that the Saints could look to add at least one more pick near or during the three days of the NFL Draft a few weeks ahead. They could also package multiple picks to try and move up at some point, which would, in essence, help aid the team's cap situation in terms of getting their draft class signed and under contract in time for training camp.
Having already hit big in free agency this month, New Orleans can begin focusing on what lies ahead in May. With many pro days and dry-erase boards in the player personnel department's future, the Saints hope to add to their already solid foundation by getting the best value out of each pick in May. Their will be hits and misses, but if the draft crop yields anything like the fruit free agent tree, the New Orleans Saints will be smiling from ear to ear heading into July.