The NFL Draft is hours away from starting, so I figured I would do one last mock draft. Just a heads up — this mock will have some trades in it and is who I think they will be targeting during the draft. The Saints have eight draft picks, but I believe that they will end up only drafting five or six players.
Whether it’s trading for next year picks or using some picks to trade up to get the player they want. This will be a interesting draft to watch for Saints fans. After the success of the last two draft classes, Saints fans should feel confident in whoever the Saints decide to choose. With that being said, this is who I think they will pick.
Round 1, Pick 27: Harold Landry, Edge Rusher, Boston College
Landry is one of the best edge rushers in the draft and would fit perfectly opposite of Cameron Jordan. Landry is an athletic, rangy, twitchy player. Has nice bend around the edge and has a plethora of moves to get to the quarterback. His dip and rip move is probably his best move. I could see him being gone by the 27th pick, but no way did I think Marshon Lattimore would’ve made it to the 11th pick in the draft last year.
Adding Landry to the Saints defense could make their unit one of the scariest in the NFL. With this pick, the Saints can finally have some much needed depth at the defensive end position. Opposing offensive lines won’t be able to focus primarily on Jordan with Landry coming off the other end. The skill set that Landry has is exactly what the Saints defensive line is missing. If he is available at pick 27, I think the Saints will be ecstatic and would run to the podium.
Alternate Pick: Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama
Round 3, Pick 91: Dante Pettis, Wide Receiver, Washington
Another weapon for Drew Brees and Sean Payton to have would be nice. Dante Pettis would be a really nice addition to the Saints wide receiver group. He has impressive ball skills and is extremely talented after the catch. He excels on special teams, especially when it comes to punt returning. Pettis had nine punt returns for touchdowns at Washington. While he played really well last season, I believe he was even better when he had John Ross opposite of him and he was the number two option at wide receiver. In New Orleans, he would have Michael Thomas, Cameron Meredith, and Ted Ginn Jr around him. So, defenses won’t be able to just key in on him. Pettis receiving skills and special teams play could make the Saints incredibly dangerous to match up against.
Alternate Pick: DaeSean Hamilton, WR, Penn St
Round 3, Pick 100 (TRADE): Mark Andrews, Tight End, Oklahoma
The Saints decide Mark Andrews was too good to pass up on, so they traded their 4th round pick (127th), 5th round pick (147th), and 6th round pick (189th). One of the Saints’ top needs on this draft is tight end. They could go for one in the first round, but that could be considered a bit of a reach to use the 27th pick on a tight end. Instead, they decide to trade up and get an all-around good tight end. It did cost them three picks to get one, but there isn’t enough open roster spots to have eight rookies on the team. The Saints just have too much talent. So, why not use some picks to trade up and get a potential starter at the tight end spot?
Mark Andrews had nearly 1,000 yards receiving last year and hauled in 8 touchdowns. The 6-foot-5 inch tight end use to play wide receiver, which explains why he is good at running routes. He is definitely a better pass catcher than he is blocker, but he isn’t awful at blocking like some tight ends. He has a nice skill set that fits with what the Saints are looking for from that position. Adding Andrews and Pettis to an already dominate offense could put opposing teams in a dilemma. New Orleans also signed Ben Watson back for a one-year deal. Having Watson there to mentor Andrews his rookie year would be a perfect scenario.
Alternate Pick: Ian Thomas, TE, Indiana
Round 5, Pick 164: Brandon Parker, Offensive Tackle, North Carolina A&T
The Saints could definitely use some depth at the offensive tackle position. Ryan Ramczyk is looking like a great pick after an impressive rookie year, but a nice big swing tackle is something the Saints could be looking for. Brandon Parker could be exactly that for them. The 6-foot-8 inch tackle has a lot of really good physical traits to be a solid swing tackle.
He was a four-year starter for North Carolina A&T, so that shows his durability, which is always good thing to have. Sean Payton has said he’s looking for offensive linemen in this draft, so they possibly could draft one earlier than this, but I think this would be a good spot to add depth at the position. Drafting someone like Parker who has a lot of good traits and potential to be a solid player in the NFL.
Alternate Pick: Cedrick Wilson, WR, Boise St
Round 6, Pick 201: Jack Cichy, Linebacker, Wisconsin
One of my favorite players in this draft that could easily be the biggest steal of the Saints are able to get him here. Jack Cichy is an incredible player when he’s on the field. He shows his intelligence, quick read and react skills, and good football instincts, but he just can’t seem to stay on the field. Injuries play a major role in why Cichy would be available here. He has missed his last 20 games because of it. I think he is worth a pick this late in the draft though. If healthy, he could do a lot for the Saints linebacker group. I understand that’s a big if, but if it was up to me he’s a risk worth taking. The addition of Demario Davis, plus a healthy Alex Anzalone and A.J. Klein is a nice group, but if you add Cichy to help push those guys and help with depth at the position would be a nice luxury to have.
Alternate Pick: Dorian O’Daniel, Linebacker, Clemson
Round 7, Pick 245: Chase Edmonds, Running Back, Fordham
I know the Saints have one of the best duos in the NFL, but it can’t hurt to get a talented player to back them up. Edmonds has been a real productive player and has the skills to run the ball and catch out of the backfield. The obvious concern is his level of competition and if he could be productive against better competition. I think he can be an effective player in the NFL, not saying he will become a Pro Bowler or anything like that, but a nice solid backup is definitely something he could do I think. He is going to need to work on a lot of he wants to make the 53-man roster, especially his blocking. It’s a long shot, but he has a chance. He would give us some depth at the running back position and could turn out to be good with Sean Payton calling plays for him.
Alternate Pick: Justin Jackson, Running Back, Northwestern