Is it time for fans to panic about New Orleans Saints' offensive lineman Andrus Peat, the team's first round draft choice in the 2015 NFL Draft?

In a word...NO!

Concerned may be an appropriate word of feeling, but not panic.

Is the Saints' offensive lineman a major question mark heading in to the 2016 season? Yes.

And does Peat have to improve, after looking less than great during his time in his rookie season, as well as his far from stellar play at times during the preseason? Of course!

That being said; it's way too early to judge Peat right now.

First of all, do we really know how well, or how poorly Peat, or any other offensive lineman played, unless you're a former offensive lineman yourself?

Sure, we have an idea, as we can see if a lineman is not getting a surge, not holding his blocks, not opening up holes, and when he gets beat.

But because of all the complexity involved, we really don't know.

Remember Jim Mora's epic "you think you know, but you don't know" rant at a reporter? He was specifically talking about the offensive line.


So, we may have an idea about how well an offensive lineman played, but we really don't know.

Second, Peat, the 13th-overall pick by the Saints out of Stanford in 2015, has played both tackle and guard, after playing left tackle most of his life. Expect him to get better, once he settles in at one position.

Finally, just be patient with Peat.

Peat was a first round draft choice, and those guys are expected to produce, and produce right away, but it's best to be patient, as it can pay off for you in the long run.

Jim Dombrowski, the first draft choice in the Jim Finks/Jim Mora era, is considered by most Saints fans to be one of the top ten lineman in franchise history.

The 6th-overall pick in the 1986 NFL Draft, Dombrowski is still thought of as the cornerstone, the building block of the successful teams of the late 80's/early 90's, that helped turn the fortunes of the franchise around.

Well, just in case you don't remember, Dombrowski only played in three games in his rookie season, and then became a decent left tackle in his next two seasons. But it wasn't until the Saints moved Dombrowski to guard in 1989, did he become a true high level player.

Joel Hilgenberg, who some consider to be the best center in franchise history, didn't become a starter until his fourth year in the league.

Jon Stinchcomb, a second round draft choice in 2003, barely played his first two seasons in the league, before becoming the starting right tackle, and then later helping the Saints to their 2009 Super Bowl crown.

Even Willie Roaf was eased in some, as he played right tackle in his rookie season, before switching to left tackle, the more demanding position in his second season.

Look, I'm not comparing Peat to Roaf, who is a Hall of Famer, and I'm not saying he's going to be as good as Dombrowski, Hilgenberg, or Stinchcomb. All I'm saying is that all of those guys were given time to become the players that they eventually became, and the patience paid off.

If you're a Saints fan, you have to be concerned about the offensive line. It would be silly not to be.

I was one of the people hollering for them to sign or draft a guard during the offseason.

Just don't go overboard.

Terron Armstead is going to be one of the top tackles in the league for years to come, while Max Unger will be solid at center.

If Peat could be solid at right guard, and the team gets any type of production at left guard and/or right tackle, then the line will be a lot better than people are projecting.

Again, I'm not saying this will be a good offensive line, but only that some people are judging way too quickly, and that the line could be good enough for this team to win.

And getting back to Peat; just try to be a little patient with him. You might be glad you did.