Mel Kiper and Todd McShay of ESPN fame recently released the latest versions of their mock drafts yesterday. Does anyone care? Just in case you do and you don't pay for ESPN's Insider coverage, here is who each of them selected for the Saints with the 24th overall pick in this years draft.
Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor
Taylor is a real load, and the best pure anchor tackle on the board. Listed at 334 pounds, Taylor probably played closer to 350 during an impressive final season at Baylor. You can stack blockers on him, but Taylor won't give ground, and will free up linebackers to make more plays in the running game. The Saints can't go wrong if they get a really good defensive tackle or defensive end with this pick.
Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa
There are some red flags surrounding Clayborn because he suffers from Erb's palsy, a condition stemming from difficult childbirth that affects the strength and range of motion in his right arm. However, he has top-20 talent and could provide pass-rush help right away at right end. Clayborn would help take some pressure off defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who was forced to blitz more than he would like last season, and a secondary that was asked to do too much in 2010. How bad was the New Orleans pass rush last season? There were seven games in which the Saints recorded one sack or less.
Can't say there's really any surprises here. Last time we checked in with Mel, he had the Saints going with defensive tackle Muhammad Wilkerson. So while the player might be different this time around, the position he thinks the Saints will choose remains the same.
Todd McShay, on the other hand, is sticking to his guns with Iowa defensive end Adrian Clayborn, whom McShay chose for the Saints in the last version of his 2011 mock draft.
They disagree completely in their assessments of the Saints second round draft selection however. McShay thinks the Saints will being staying on the defensive side of the ball with USC's defensive tackle Jurrell Casey while Kiper has the Saints going with offensive line help, choosing Florida State offensive lineman Rodney Hudson.