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2018 New Orleans Saints Draft: Potential Day 2 Targets

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How aggressive will the Saints be on Day Two of the NFL draft?

2018 NFL Draft Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The New Orleans Saints made a move from number 27 to number 14 in the draft's first round, trading with the Green Bay Packers in order to select edge rusher Marcus Davenport. Rounds 2 and 3 take place this evening, with the Saints currently owning just one pick in the 3rd round, 91st overall. We can almost certainly expect even more trade movement than was witnessed in last night's opening round, including perhaps from New Orleans, which last year had 1 second round pick and 3 in the third round. Let's have a look at some names still on the board in positions of need for the defending NFC South champions.

TIGHT END

Michigan State v Penn State

Mike Gesicki (Penn State)

Dallas Goedert (South Dakota St.)

Mark Andrews (Oklahoma)

Ian Thomas (Indiana)

Only one tight end, South Carolina's Hayden Hurst, was selected in the opening round. Despite the Saints free agent signing of Benjamin Watson, this still looks to be a position of great need, with a number of very talented pass catching tight ends available in a deep draft class.

WIDE RECEIVER

NCAA Football: Houston at Memphis Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Miller (Memphis)

Daesean Hamilton (Penn St.)

James Washington (Oklahoma St.)

Marcell Ateman (Oklahoma St.)

Deon Cain (Clemson)

Dante Pettis (Washington)

Michael Gallup (Colorado St.)

Cortland Sutton (S.M.U.)

Saints coach Sean Payton talked all offseason about the team's need to add more receiving threats. This draft looks deep at wideout throughout the middle rounds, so New Orleans may wait even longer than expected to grab one. A player like Miller or Hamilton would likely be an immediate contributor from the slot or the outside in a Saints offense that struggled on 3rd downs last year.

QUARTERBACK

NCAA Football: Kansas State at Oklahoma State Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

Mason Rudolph (Oklahoma St.)

Kyle Lauletta (Richmond)

Five quarterbacks were drafted on opening night, but there are some developmental prospects left on the board. Still, it would be a bit of a surprise if the Saints would use a second day pick here.

OFFENSIVE LINE

NCAA Football: North Texas at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

James Daniels (Iowa, Center)

Will Hernandez (UTEP, Guard)

Connor Williams (Texas, tackle)

Daniels, Hernandez, and Williams had all been projected by some to go off the board in the first round. The Saints starting offensive line is one of the better units in the league, but tackle Terron Armstead has struggled with injuries, and the team lost Senio Kelemete and Zach Strief this offseason.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE

Colorado v Michigan Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images

Maurice Hurst (Michigan)

Nathan Shepherd (Fort Hays St.)

Hurst would have almost certainly been selected in the first round, if not for a potentially serious medical condition, and Shepherd has been skyrocketing up draft boards with his postseason workouts. The Saints pursuit of Ndamukong Suh and Muhammad Wilkerson during free agency could indicate the team's desire to add a disruptive presence in the middle.

EDGE RUSHER

NCAA Football: Central Michigan at Boston College Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Harold Landry (Boston College)

Sam Hubbard (Ohio St.)

Lorenzo Carter (Georgia)

Arden Key (L.S.U.)

Since the Saints traded up to add Davenport, it seems unlikely that they would look to add another pass rusher. But Landry, Hubbard, Key, and Carter had all been projected as possible mid-late 1st round picks, and depth at one of the most coveted positions in football would strengthen a talented young defense.

LINEBACKER

Cincinnati v Central Florida Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Josey Jewell (Iowa)

Fred Warner (Brigham Young)

Shaquem Griffin (Central Florida)

Griffin is an outstanding athlete with an underrated feel for the game, while Jewell and Warner are highly instinctive players. Each would add versatility to an upgraded New Orleans linebacking unit that added Demario Davis and hopes to keep Alex Anzalone healthy.

CORNERBACK

NCAA Football: Colorado at Stanford Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Isaiah Oliver (Colorado)

Josh Jackson (Iowa)

Carlton Davis (Auburn)

Adding one of these three playmakers with first round ability, good athleticism, and prototypical size would strengthen one of the better young cornerback units in the league.

SAFETY

2017 US College Football Sydney Cup Photo by Brook Mitchell/Getty Images

Justin Reid (Stanford)

Ronnie Harrison (Alabama)

The Saints loss of Kenny Vaccaro in free agency (though he remains unsigned) thins a unit that has talent in Marcus Williams and Vonn Bell. A player like Reid or Harrison would give the Saints more flexibility on the back end.

Day 2 of the 2017 draft brought Marcus Williams, Trey Hendrickson, Alex Anzalone, and the NFL Offensive Rookie of the year Alvin Kamara to New Orleans. The second day of the 2016 draft netted Michael Thomas and Vonn Bell. The Saints have built the nucleus of a championship caliber roster in rounds 2 and 3, so recent history should tell us to expect the Saints to be aggressive when draft festivities commence this evening.

Poll

What position should the Saints target first on the second day of the draft?

This poll is closed

  • 53%
    Tight End
    (596 votes)
  • 10%
    Wide Receiver
    (117 votes)
  • 12%
    Offensive Line
    (143 votes)
  • 7%
    Defensive Tackle
    (85 votes)
  • 1%
    Edge
    (22 votes)
  • 4%
    Cornerback
    (47 votes)
  • 2%
    Safety
    (25 votes)
  • 6%
    Linebacker
    (69 votes)
1104 votes total Vote Now