Imagine, if you will, a bizarro world in which Mel Kiper is in charge of drafting for your favorite NFL team. I know it's scary to even contemplate, but for the purposes of this post please put your fears behind you for a brief moment.
What exactly would that team look like and who would Kiper draft? A Philadelphia sportswriter named Jimmy Kempski put together a list of players each team would have drafted in the first round over the past five years if Kiper's initial mock drafts were completely accurate. Here it is:
If Mel Kiper's initial mock drafts over the last 5 years were 100% accurate, here's who your team would have drafted: pic.twitter.com/riGs2f4yVH— Jimmy Kempski (@JimmyKempski) February 18, 2015
It's a lot of info fit into a small picture so it's tough to read. Here's what it says for the Saints and how it compares to reality:
Who Kiper took: DT Jared Odrick - Pretty decent defensive tackle who is actually scheduled to hit the free agent market this off-season, unless the Dolphins re-sign him, which they've expressed interest of doing. BTW, does anyone else think Odrick looks like Adam Duritz?
Who the Saints actually took: Patrick Robinson
Who got it right: Kiper is off to an early lead.
Who Kiper took: OLB Justin Houston - He's only one of the best outside linebackers in the entire league. He only had 22 sacks last year. No big deal. It doesn't really matter, because I'm sure if the Saints had drafted Houston they would have never developed him or used him in a way that would have allow him to succeed anyway. Houston ended up actually being a 3rd round pick.
Who the Saints actually took: Cameron Jordan
Who got it right: Kiper is starting to look like a freakin' genius.
Who Kiper took: DT Johnathan Hankins - Didn't contribute immediately but not a bad season last year. Seven sacks, 1 forced fumble, and 51 tackles for a run-stuffing space-eater like Hankins is worthwhile. Hankins ended up actually being a 2nd round pick.
Who the Saints actually took: Kenny Vaccaro
Who got it right: This one's kinda close. Vaccaro has seen more playing time. Their performances next year will probably determine the direction of their respective careers.
Who Kiper took: OT Antonio Richardson - Richardson wound up going undrafted because of concerns about his knee, then missed his entire rookie season because of - you guessed it! - knee surgeries. In Kiper's defense, the Saints traded up to get Cooks so he would have never gotten this pick right.
Who the Saints actually took: Brandin Cooks
Who got it right: Jury's still out, but it's looking good for the Saints with this one.
I hate to say it, but it looks like Kiper might have done a better job than the Saints did in reality. Especially considering we're looking at Kiper's initial mock drafts. These are his picks before the Combine happens; before free agency hits. It appears the Saints defense would most likely be in better shape than it is now. Which is a sad state of affairs and says a lot about the Saints and their drafting skills.