The annual SB Nation NFL Writers Mock Draft is in full effect and I have the pleasure of picking for Canal Street Chronicles in the first and second rounds. With the first round coming to its close, it has been a fairly standard mock draft thus far, but there have been a few surprises. A few players slipped well past their general taking and some were taken higher than I would've thought.
I went into the first round thinking cornerback first and then revert to wide receiver if none of my top corners were available. Worst case scenario, I would snag an offensive tackle and call it a day.
Holding a late round pick, the way the first round ended up playing out was very beneficial to me. With only the Browns left to pick before me, I had three highly-rated prospects left on the table to choose from. Even though the Browns' writer took the player that I wanted the most, I was still left with a guy that I feel would help the Saints tremendously: Kelvin Benjamin. Below is my write-up on the selection.
With the best of the top tier cornerbacks taken prior to this pick, I had to go with the next position of need for the Saints: wide receiver. Deciding between Marqise Lee and Kelvin Benjamin, both of which are potential immediate contributors, makes for a tough call, but I had to go with Benjamin in the end. At 6'5", 240 lbs, he is practically a tight end. His tremendous catch radius and long strides give him an edge on defenders and make him the perfect possession receiver. Marques Colston, who plays a similar role to that of Benjamin, is nearing the end of his career and his successor needs to be found. While you could make the case for taking an offensive lineman with this selection, Brees could use another youthful, talented weapon.
While I would've preferred taking a top level cornerback (the ones at the top of my list were taken), Kelvin Benjamin still covers a major need that has to be addressed. As I said in my summary, taking an offensive lineman would've been a completely plausible selection. However, it was too hard to pass on a guy that could become one of Brees' favorite targets.
Check the guy out for yourselves! His combination of size, speed, and catching range is unbelievable and nearly impossible to guard. Just think if a defense had to worry about containing Benjamin and Jimmy at the same time. And don't forget about Joe Morgan running a seam route to the end zone.
Seeing as though I've selected Benjamin in two different mock drafts (one of them being "live"), you can probably tell that I would love this pick; I just believe Kelvin would be a winner selection for the Saints. If you need some extra reassurance, check out this piece that Stephen White from Mocking the Draft put together on Benjamin.
Sean Payton and co. could definitely use another toy in their offense, so why not make it a guy that is a physical mismatch for defenses?
Stay tuned for my second round selection for the Saints and discuss my first round pick in the comments below!