Dwayne Bowe, WR -- LSU
I could go on and on about our resident LSU blogger going "homer" on us and picking one of his own for the Saints, but I think I'll let him try to explain....
Were I not the LSU blogger, I don't think I'd have to offer much justification at all for this selection. I absolutely HATE being the "homer" and I would much prefer to go defense with our first pick, but here's the bottom line: I think Bowe is the best player still available by a fair margin, and regardless of how well our offense performed last year, a solid WR is a big need for us at present. Neither Devery Henderson nor Terrance Copper have proven to be legitimate #2 WRs (just ask Steeler fans, who saw Copper's dropsies first hand while we tried to mount a last minute drive at Pittsburgh last year), and the declining Joe Horn has sold his services to the
devil Falcons, robbing us of at least some measure of reliability downfield.
I tried my best to pry Darrell Jackson out of the Seahawks' hands, which would have been ideal. While this pick would have been involved in that trade, I'd planned on packaging my second-rounder with another pick I'd have acquired (perhaps less) to move up in the second round and take a CB like Marcus McCauley or some defensive line help. Unfortunately, my initial offer was as high as I was willing to go, and included a conditional pick in 2008 based on Jackson's production, but apparently the Hawks got a better offer and my proposal fell through.
It's plainly evident the Saints need help in the secondary. But with Hall, Revis, Ross, Houston, and the Character/Mr. Versatility guy (Weddle) gone, I had to default to other needs. I considered LB Lawrence Timmons, "tweener" DE/LB Anthony Spencer, T Justin Blalock, and even WR Dwayne Jarrett, but I don't think I'd be alone in asserting that Bowe is the superior talent of that bunch, and we need a dependable receiver every bit as much as we need front seven or offensive line help. At that point it comes down to nothing more than selecting the best talent.
Of course no writeup about Dwayne Bowe would be complete without mentioning the wonders of Lasik Surgery. His junior season (2005) was plagued with dropped balls coming at the most inopportune times (homer note: thankfully, we beat Alabama anyway!), but an offseason lasik procedure appears to have completely cured that problem. Bowe turned in a stellar 2006 and racked up 12 TDs (tops in the SEC) and nearly 1,000 yards, stats that while not exceptional were impressive in an LSU offense that had plenty of other weapons to share the load.
Bowe won't be a deep threat - we've got Devery Henderson handling that job (by far the NFL's leader in yards per catch last year at 23.3) - but what he most certainly will do is give Drew Brees another dependable option on the intermediate routes downfield in the event Marques Colston gets slapped with double coverage, not to mention adding the solid blocking skills that come in so handy on the myriad swing/screen routes to Reggie Bush. Absent a money tight end, this shores up the Saints' offense for the foreseeable future.
I think he comvers it well, and Bowe looks like he'll be a solid NFL receiver. The Saints found magic late in the draft last year with Marques Colston, can they find some early in 07?
Our friends from Foxboro are back on the clock.