Now that free agency has came down from its apex, I decided to start a NFL mock draft series of my own to take us in to May 8th, the first day of the actual draft.
So far this free agency has been quite exciting, especially for us Saints fans as we have seen the front office make some moves that we never thought would (or could) be possible. They started out with a bang by signing a highly sought after safety in Jairus Byrd to a six year, $54 million contract. From here most expected the Saints to be done in free agency, but like he has done before, Loomis found more cap space and was able to resign starting right tackle Zach Strief to a five year deal, bring in fullback Erik Lorig for four years, and extend Pierre Thomas' contract to keep him a Saint in the process.
Even though a couple positions of need were filled, the Saints still have some holes left on the depth chart. The same goes for every other team in the league. My first mock draft takes these needs into account, and keep in mind that the selections that I have made disregard future transactions that may occur.
1. Houston Texans - Jadaveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
13. St. Louis Rams - Darqueze Denard, CB, Michigan State
14. Chicago Bears - Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Safety, Alabama
17. Baltimore Ravens - CJ Mosley, ILB, Alabama
21. Philadelphia Eagles - Marqise Lee, WR, USC
26. Cleveland Browns - Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State
27. New Orleans Saints - Odell Beckham Jr, WR, LSU
The Saints' first round draft pick will likely be spent on either a wide receiver, pass rusher, or corner back. With Ryan Shazier and Bradley Roby, two guys I would rather the Saints select, taken off of the board just prior, Odell Beckham Jr. was a win-win pick that was still available. He would assuredly cover a need that the team needs to fill, and he is a high-quality prospect with a lot of upside.
Even though Aaron Donald, whom is rated higher than Beckham Jr., was still on the board, I don't see the Saints passing up on an opportunity to get better offensively this season, especially when that side of the ball is in need of more youth and skill.
29. New England Patriots - Timmy Jernigan, NT, Florida State
30. San Francisco 49ers - Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh
31. Denver Broncos - Louis Nix, NT, Notre Dame