NFL Draft 2013: Saints Prospects to Watch

Chris Graythen

There are a lot of intriguing college players that catch my eye for the Saints.

Now that the college season has came to its conclusion, NFL draft prospects have wrapped up their "tryouts" until their pro days and combines. With the 15th pick in the draft, the Saints are certainly in a good position to grab some excellent talent.

Even though the Saints have a few holes to fill - front four, the secondary, and offensive line - I really think that this draft can be taken advantage of. Without further adieu, let's take a look at some players that are quite interesting.

Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon

Jordan has been projected by several mock drafts to go to the Saints in the first round. His height is monstrous, at 6' 7" inches. On the other hand, his weight seems a little awkward; he weighs only 241 pounds. If he were to get to around 260 and maintain his speed, he could be a potential Defensive Rookie of the Year. Jordan finished the year with 44 total tackles, 5 sacks, and 3 forced fumbles. I think that he would be a great defensive project that Spags would love to have.

Alex Okafor, DE, Texas

The 6'4, 265 pound defensive end from Texas is also projected to go in the first round, but a little bit later than the Saints' pick. Interestingly enough though, his statistics are considerably better than Dion Jordan's. Over the course of the season, Okafor tallied 61 tackles (16.5 for a loss), 12.5 sacks, and four forced fumbles. If he has a pretty good pro day and combine, his stock could rise and the Saints might grab him.

Tyrann Mathieu, CB, Suspended from the 2012 year

Tyrann Mathieu is the most intriguing player of them all. Now, I know the Honey Badger didn't play this past season (he was suspended for drug use), but I think that he would be a great player for the Saints to take a chance on in the middle rounds. In 2011, Mathieu was arguably the most dynamic player in the NCAA. He was a terror on defense all year and eventually won the Chuck Bednarik award, which goes to the best Defensive Back of the year. He accrued 76 tackles, two interceptions, six forced fumbles, and two fumbles returned for a touchdown. He was excellent as a punt returner as well. He averaged 15.6 yards per return and had two touchdowns. If the 2011 Heisman Trophy finalist can turn his off-field behavior around, I'm positive that he can be a good addition to the Saints' roster.

Marquise Goodwin, WR, Texas

Even though wide receiver isn't an extreme need for the Saints, this Longhorn would be a great pickup in later rounds. The 5'9" speedster could be a heck of a project. While at Texas, Goodwin not only played football, but he ran track. He wasn't just any track runner though, he was an Olympian. His career best in the 100 meter dash is a 10.24, which is less than a second behind Usain Bolt's world record of 9.58. At receiver though, Goodwin wasn't used that much. In 2012, he caught 26 receptions for 340 yards and three touchdowns. He was used in the running game as well; he rushed 13 times for 140 yards and three touchdowns. Goodwin could be a triple-threat project sort of like how Travaris Cadet is currently used, but better.

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