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2018 New Orleans Saints Draft: Potential Day 3 Steals

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Will the Saints unearth any hidden gems on the final day of the draft?

2018 NFL Draft Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The New Orleans Saints drafted wide receiver Tre'quan Smith from Central Florida with a 3rd round pick yesterday evening. It was the 91st overall selection, and the only pick that the Saints had on the second day of the draft. Barring trades, New Orleans owns five picks in the draft's final day, beginning with the 4th round (127th overall), followed by one in the 5th (164), two in the 6th (189 and 201), and ending their day with a 7th round pick, 245th overall. Here is a look at a few very talented players still left on the board at some positions of need for one of the NFC's Super Bowl contenders.

TIGHT END

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Chris Herndon (Miami, Fla.)

Ian Thomas (Indiana)

Troy Fumagalli (Wisconsin)

Herndon and Thomas are both extremely strong and athletic tight ends that will present mismatches down the field as well as threaten a defense with their catch and run ability. They are both, however, extremely inexperienced as well. Fumagelli is more seasoned, and is also an agile receiver, if not the athletic specimen that Herndon and Thomas are. All three are willing blockers as well.

WIDE RECEIVER

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Daesean Hamilton (Penn State)

Trey Quinn (S.M.U.)

Deon Cain (Clemson)

Marcell Ateman (Oklahoma St.)

Cedrick Wilson (Boise St.)

The selection of Smith makes this position less of a need, but the Saints offense has always liked to spread the field with multiple receiver sets. A precise route runner like Hamilton or Quinn would be a dangerous weapon out of the slot, while Cain or Wilson can stretch a defense vertically, and Ateman presents a match up problem with his size.

OFFENSIVE LINE

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Colby Gossett (Appalachian St.)

Jamil Demby (Maine)

Greg Senat (Wagner)

Tyrell Crosby (Oregon)

K.C. McDermott (Miami, Fla.)

New Orleans will likely add a lineman that can solidify their depth, and have always preferred players who can play multiple line positions if necessary.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE/EDGE

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R.J. McIntosh — DT (Miami, Fla.)

Ade Aruna — EDGE (Tulane)

Jalyn Holmes — EDGE (Ohio St.)

Duke Ejiofor — EDGE (Wake Forest)

McIntosh is a potential disruptive interior force, with the athleticism to move outside to end as a rusher. Aruna, Holmes, and Ejiofor are developmental pass rushers that can be effective specialists.

LINEBACKER

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Genard Avery (Memphis)

Shaquem Griffin (UCF)

Josey Jewell (Iowa)

Micah Kiser (Virginia)

Avery and Griffin are fast and powerful linebackers that can rush the passer as well as cover effectively. Jewell and Kiser are more physically limited, but are good instinctive defenders. All four have the physical and fundamental abilities to contribute on special teams, and also to develop into every down linebackers.

CORNERBACK

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Parry Nickerson (Tulane)

Anthony Averett (Alabama)

Taron Johnson (Weber St.)

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Nickerson, Averett, and Johnson are on the smaller side, but are extremely athletic and aggressive ball hawks, likely to be more effective out of slot coverage.

SAFETY

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Jordan Whitehead (Pitt)

Marcus Allen (Penn State)

Troy Apke (Penn State)

Damon Webb (Ohio State)

Kyzir White (West Virginia)

Max Redfield (IUP)

Safeties have not been highly sought in this draft, largely because of a mixed skillset but deficiencies in each of their games. But there are a few left that can bring true value to this defense, either by being a hard tackling threat in the tackle box, or adding a ballhawking presence on the back end.

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New Orleans has had success in the later rounds during the Sean Payton era. The 4th round has brought players like offensive linemen Jahri Evans (2006), Jermon Bushrod (2007), and defensive lineman David Onyemata (2016). The 5th round has brought defenders Rob Ninkovich (2006) and Tyeler Davison (2015), offensive lineman Carl Nicks (2008), punter Thomas Morstead (2009), and receiver Kenny Stills (2013). The 7th round has seen the Saints grab team icons Zach Strief and Marques Colston, both in 2006. It doesn't seem probable that New Orleans will draft a quarterback at this point, although they could always decide to nab a prospect to develop like Riley Ferguson of Memphis or Kyle Lauletta from Richmond. Running back seems unlikely also, but the Saints have always like to add running back depth in the latter part of the draft. Talents like Dimitri Flowers (Oklahoma), Mark Walton (Miami, Fla.), Nyheim Hines (N.C. State), or Akrum Wadley (Iowa) could prove to be a valuable late round find. The Saints draft success in recent seasons have shown that the team is diligent about their scouting players even deep into the draft, and the result has been a core roster full of talented players under the age of 25. Fans would be wise to pay close attention to the talent that the Saints add to their roster today, as the 2018 draft comes to a close.

Poll

What position should the Saints address first in day 3 of the NFL draft?

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    Running back
    (7 votes)
  • 0%
    Wide receiver
    (4 votes)
  • 41%
    Tight end
    (365 votes)
  • 25%
    Offensive line
    (225 votes)
  • 12%
    Defensive tackle
    (113 votes)
  • 1%
    Edge rusher
    (17 votes)
  • 12%
    Linebacker
    (107 votes)
  • 2%
    Cornerback
    (26 votes)
  • 1%
    Safety
    (17 votes)
881 votes total Vote Now