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Saints move on from Nick Fairley in mock draft madness

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We’re in the middle of the playoffs race, but it’s good to stay informed.

ANN ARBOR, MI:  Michigan Wolverines defensive lineman Maurice Hurst (73) hits Wisconsin Badgers quarterback Alex Hornibrook (12) during a game at Michigan Stadium.
ANN ARBOR, MI: Michigan Wolverines defensive lineman Maurice Hurst (73) hits Wisconsin Badgers quarterback Alex Hornibrook (12) during a game at Michigan Stadium.
Photo by Lon Horwedel/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It’s Tuesday. You’re bored, I’m bored. There’s not much to say yet about the New Orleans Saints’ looming rematch with the Minnesota Vikings, or at least not much to say that hasn’t already been said. Whatever there is left to say will be said at length over the course of the week.

So let’s zig while everything else zags. Most of the NFL is preparing for the offseason and the 2018 NFL Draft, with mock drafts submitted from all corners of the Internet. I’ve put together a quick look at some of the draft prospects connected to the Saints. It’s too soon to take any of this seriously and I know that, so chill on the baffled commentary.

DT Maurice Hurst, Michigan Wolverines

Nick Fairley’s situation sucks from all angles. In twelve months, Fairley moved homes twice, buried his mother, finally got a long-term contract in New Orleans, and was sidelined by a heart condition. The Saints invested a lot in him and weren’t able to get anything to show for it. If his playing career is cut short, Josh Norris (NBC Rotoworld) makes sense to put Michigan Wolverines defensive tackle Maurice Hurst in New Orleans. SB Nation’s Michigan blog, Maize ‘n Brew, held a roundtable for season awards and Von Lozon stood on a table for Hurst:

His stats (59 tackles, 13.5 TFL, 5 sacks) aren’t as good as Winovich’s (74 tackles, 17 TFL, 8 sacks), but he was clearly the most disruptive player on the defensive line this season, and you could argue he is the most disruptive player on ANY defensive line in the country.

College PFF tweeted the other day that Hurst finished the season with the second-most QB pressures among all interior linemen with 45. The crazy thing is that Hurst is a nose tackle in Don Brown’s scheme, and nose tackles aren’t meant to be this dominant! It’s insane how good he has been this year, and he is my defensive MVP choice by a long shot.

LB Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech Hokies

I’m a big fan of this pick from Chris Trapasso (CBS Sports), who hasn’t officially declared for the draft yet. Edmunds has great instincts and is an accomplished pass-rusher with the size to see more action on the line of scrimmage than he did in college. Bob McManaman (AZ Central) also likes Edmunds’ fit in New Orleans:

Trapasso: Edmunds is the type of linebacker the Saints need, as he can play all three second-level positions and has plenty of untapped potential due to the athletic talents he possesses at his size (listed at 6-foot-5, 236-pounds).

McManaman: The Saints’ defense made incredible strides this season and adding a run-stuffer like Edmunds would be ideal. He’s a veritable tank of a player who will only make this defense better and bring some attitude and nastiness. Could the Saints draft a quarterback here instead? It’s possible.

QB Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State Cowboys

The obligatory Brees-successor is suggested by SB Nation’s own Dan Kadar. I haven’t seen much to like in this quarterback class outside the top three passers - Lamar Jackson (Louisville Cardinals), Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma Sooners), and Josh Rosen (UCLA Bruins) - but Rudolph might work out better than Garrett Grayson did as a clipboard-holder.

Rudolph may be more of a second-round player, but there’s some sense in taking him in the first. For the Saints it would give them a player who can eventually take over for Drew Brees, one of the oldest players in the NFL. They would also get another guaranteed year on his contract, so if Brees sticks around the Saints have another year of time on their side.

TE Mark Andrews, Oklahoma Sooners

This final mock draft from Rob Goldberg (Bleacher Report) gets the Saints the athletic pass-catching tight end we’re all wishing for in Oklahoma Sooners graduate Mark Andrews (6-foot-5, 253-pounds). Goldberg’s colleague at B/R, Mike Chiari, had some good thoughts on Andrews:

Andrews got progressively better over the course of his collegiate career, and his junior campaign was one of the best by an FBS tight end in recent memory.

As a key part of Oklahoma’s high-octane offense, Andrews made 62 catches for 958 yards and a team-leading eight touchdowns. He was a constant safety valve for Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Baker Mayfield, and he was his go-to target in the red zone.

Andrews also excelled at making plays down the field, which means he has the ability to be a true offensive difference-maker early in his NFL career.

Poll

If these are the four best players available, who would you want to see in New Orleans?

This poll is closed

  • 30%
    DT Maurice Hurst
    (365 votes)
  • 40%
    LB Tremaine Edmunds
    (486 votes)
  • 5%
    QB Mason Rudolph
    (67 votes)
  • 24%
    TE Mark Andrews
    (296 votes)
1214 votes total Vote Now