On Friday morning, ESPN Draft Analysts Mel Kiper and Todd McShay teamed up to provide alternating picks for teams in a 3-Round NFL Mock Draft. Kiper made two picks for the New Orleans Saints, while McShay had three. You can check out the full article here, which requires ESPN Insider access.
However, here’s the skinny on the team’s five picks inside the Top 105 with their commentary.
11th (Kiper) - Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
I don't think McCaffrey is making it here on draft night, but he'd be a tremendous asset for Drew Brees.
32nd (McShay) - Adoree Jackson, CB, USC
Jackson's natural ball skills in coverage and his ability as a returner would instantly make the Saints better.
42nd (McShay) - T.J. Watt, OLB, Wisconsin
Watt has the size and athleticism to be a good pass-rusher. The only questions are his durability and limited experience playing the position.
76th (McShay) - Duke Riley, LB, LSU
Riley has the athleticism to play on all three downs. I'm starting to like this draft for the Saints: McCaffrey, Jackson, Watt and now Riley, who's one of my Day 2 steals.
103rd (Kiper) - Brendan Langley, CB, Lamar
A transfer from Georgia who has also played corner, Langley would be a solid bet for a team that desperately needs corners.
How would you grade the Kiper/McShay duo mock for the Saints?
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As crazy as it sounds, this draft is pretty believable. The Saints could very well spend a pick on Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey, but with Adrian Peterson rumors still strong, it could change things up in a big way. I’m not a huge fan of Jackson at corner, and would note that Florida’s Quincy Wilson fell to 44th for the Bills. Tre’Davious White went the very next pick to the Cardinals, and Jourdan Lewis, Desmond King, and Chidobe Awuzie were still options.
With the Malcolm Butler compensation reportedly being an issue between the Patriots and Saints, there’s a real possibility the team will have to rely on a rookie cornerback in the 2017 mix.