Mock draft season is in full swing, so here’s some picks for the New Orleans Saints from around the web:
Courtland Sutton, SMU Mustangs
This first pick comes from ESPN’s NFL Draft analyst, Mel Kiper Jr:
Drew Brees is 39, and the Saints just made a playoff run with one of the most productive rookie classes in recent history. This is a team built to win right now. Sutton is a huge 6-4 matchup nightmare who could play opposite budding superstar Michael Thomas. He was inconsistent at times for the Mustangs, but he’s a big play-threat who averaged at least 16 yards per catch over the past three seasons. New Orleans could have some receiver turnover with Brandon Coleman and Willie Snead both restricted free agents.
Sutton could be an A.J. Green-level talent at the next level. He plays with exceptional body control to adjust to off-target passes while showing some ability to take off and run after the catch. Personally I don’t know that Sutton gives the Saints a skills set that Michael Thomas doesn’t already provide, or a size mismatch you see in Brandon Coleman. But Sutton is definitely very talented.
Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Oklahoma Sooners
This pick comes from Steve Palazzolo of Pro Football Focus:
The Saints took big strides on defense last season, but adding another presence off the edge will be an offseason priority. Okoronkwo picked up 23 sacks, 27 QB hits and 77 hurries on only 766 career rushes while picking up plenty of experience in coverage playing in Oklahoma’s scheme. He can dabble in a traditional linebacker role while doing most of his work rushing off the edge as a movable chess piece for the Saints.
Okoronkwo is a great pass rushing linebacker. He’s a little light to line up over tackle full-time, but he’s worked hard to round out his game and develop his pro prospects as a true linebacker. I doubt that he’s the caliber of player other Dennis Allen stars have been like Von Miller and Khalil Mack, but I want him on my team. I wouldn’t hesitate to think of him as a young James Harrison-style punisher on the edge.
Mark Andrews, Oklahoma Sooners
The next pick comes from Nick Klopsis of Newsday:
The Saints are loaded on offense with Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara at running back, a quarterback in Drew Brees who doesn’t appear to be slowing down with age and a legitimate No. 1 receiver in Michael Thomas. But ever since they traded Jimmy Graham to the Seahawks, they have lacked an impact tight end who can create mismatches. Mark Andrews can do that. The 6-5, 254-pounder can line up in-line or in the slot, is big enough to be a red-zone target and has the speed and agility to do damage after the catch.
Andrews is a popular connection to the Saints, who targeted their tight ends less-often than any other team in 2017. Andrews rarely plays with his hand in the dirt as a blocker, but the Saints could definitely continue to maximize his abilities as a pass-catcher.
Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech Hokies
The final pick for this week comes from Luke Easterling over at The Draft Wire, who projected the first four rounds. His first round pick for the Saints was a big, badass linebacker:
The Saints have some solid players at linebacker, but a glaring lack of athleticism and true playmaking potential. Edmunds’ massive frame and elite athleticism make him one of this year’s more intriguing defensive prospects, and he’s barely scratching the surface of his potential.
Edmunds is fun, athletic, and obviously very talented, but needs to work on play recognition. He gets fooled too often by play-action and read-option decisions. Easterling’s other Saints picks were Georgia Bulldogs outside linebacker Lorenzo Carter, and LSU Tigers wide receiver/punt returner D.J. Chark.
Which of these players would you want to see in Black and Gold?
This poll is closed
WR Courtland Sutton, SMU
LB Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Oklahoma
TE Mark Andrews, Oklahoma
LB Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech