I know there's a number of you guys that want the Saints to draft a running back or a pass rusher in the first round of the NFL Draft. Lately Mikel LeShoure has been coming up a lot as an alternative to Mark Ingram, both because Ingram could be gone by No. 24 but also because of the question marks surrounding his health that could cause his draft stock plummet. Still, a lot of mock drafts have the Saints taking a defensive tackle in round one.
Here's the write up on NFL.com of each player:
Overview: "Liuget belongs in the discussion with the other elite defensive tackles in this class. Arguably this year's most productive DT against the run and also very active rushing the passer. Fires off the ball, maintains sound positioning, has hands that never stop moving, gets off blocks quickly, and closes on ball-carriers and quarterbacks with speed and power. Has the size and strength to move offensive lineman into the backfield. Also comfortable tackling in space and has the awareness to diagnose screens and draws and bat down balls at the line. Liuget has skyrocketed up draft boards this season and should be gone by the mid first."
Strengths: "Liuget has a big, sturdy build and outstanding speed. Blessed with tremendous get off. Sheds in a hurry, finds the football and closes violently against the run. Does a great job pushing the pocket with a powerful bull rush. Never stops working. Tackles well in the open field and pursues from the backside. Great Football IQ."
Weaknesses: "Must nit-pick to find weaknesses in this kid's game. Does not possess ideal height but still active batting down passes. Lacks elite fluidity when getting to the quarterback but still a feared pass rusher."
Overview: "Wilkerson is an elite 3-4 defensive end prospect with idea size, excellent shedding ability and the athleticism to pursue from the backside and rush the passer. Jolts offensive lineman at the point of attack, can beat the double team, finds the football and makes plays against the run. Does not have rare first-step quickness but can take a direct line through blockers to pressure the quarterback and has range against the run. Despite size, is a three-down guy who plays with a high effort level for four quarters. Wilkerson's stock has risen quickly and he could come off the board in the middle of round one."
Strengths: "Wilkerson's a prototypical blend of height, bulk and speed for a defensive tackle or five-technique. Dominant against the run. Has great get off, holds up at the point of attack, shows outstanding ability to shed, and very good closing burst to the ball. Very effective power bull rusher. Has good hands. Good stamina."
Weaknesses: "Hard to point out weaknesses in his game. Does not possess elite initial quickness off the ball as a pass rusher or penetrating against the run but still good in this area. Shows some nastiness on occasion but would like to see him play with a more consistent mean streak."
Overview: "Taylor possesses the rare size and natural brute strength NFL front offices are looking for in a potential 3-4 nose tackle or two-gaper. Can anchor against the run, fight through double teams, uses his hands well, and doesn't necessarily need to come off the field on third down with his adequate pass rushing ability and good feet. A tendency to play high, limited range, in-game durability and some off-the-field red flags do hurt his stock. However, prospects with Taylor's size and ability don't grow on trees, so he shouldn't last past the middle rounds."
Strengths: "Taylor possesses rare size, has impressive strength, and good speed considering his weight. Very effective anchor at the point of the attack against the run and can take on the double team. Can be effective using the bull rush, coming off the ball and displays a jarring initial hand punch."
Weaknesses: "Can play high at times. Won't chase down many plays or make many tackles outside the box. Doesn't have the first-stop quickness to consistently penetrate. Stamina is a concern. Has he has a tendency to wear down late in games and during long drives. Has some off-the-field issues and was dismissed from Penn State"
My question is simple: if the Saints were to pick a defensive tackle in round one and all three of the players listed below are available, which one would you want in black and gold? Do you think any of these guys will go before the 24th pick?