There’s still three weeks to go until the New Orleans Saints draft their first rookie, so that means it’s time for analysts like Mel Kiper Jr and Todd McShay to joust on NFL Network over whose mock draft is cooler.
An interesting wrinkle in their latest disagreement is that they both project the Saints to headline their 2018 NFL Draft class with a tight end, but neither soothsayer can agree on which one. Kiper fired this week’s opening salvo by connecting New Orleans to Hayden Hurst of the South Carolina Gamecocks, the first tight end off the board:
Mel Kiper Jr.’s Mock Draft 4.0. pic.twitter.com/X3JRqxd87j— LeadingNFL ™ (@LeadingNFL) April 4, 2018
Kiper’s hyping of Hurst has been well-documented, writing earlier this year:
I mentioned Hurst at pick No. 19, and he’s trending toward being a Day 1 pick and the first tight end off the board. He’s a well-rounded tight end who didn’t get a ton of targets in the South Carolina offense. One thing to note: Because Hurst spent a couple of years playing minor league baseball, he will be 25 when he plays his first NFL game.
It’s easy to see the appeal with Hurst, but his age should be a concern. He’ll be 30 when his rookie contract expires (assuming he earns the lucrative fifth-year option), and may not have as much room to grow as a pro. However, he’s only been playing football for a few years after walking onto South Carolina’s squad as a minor league baseball pitcher-turned-wide receiver.
SDSU TE Dallas Goedert killed Pro Day today. Combo of 6.86 3cone, 4.07 short shuttle, 35” Vert., and 10-1 Broad would be really good for a 200 lb WR. Dallas weighs 257. People complaining about him not running a 40 (post SR Bowl inj) are laughable. He and Hurst easily top 2 TEs
It’s fun to imagine the possibilities of either Goedert or Hurst in New Orleans’ diverse offense, especially when lined up alongside another dynamic weapon in Alvin Kamara. Both Goedert and Hurst possess the willingness to engage opponents as blockers, setting them apart from Mike Gesicki, and helping each of their cases to be drafted highest later this month.
Which tight end would you like to see selected by the Black and Gold?
This poll is closed
Dallas Goedert, South Dakota State
Hayden Hurst, South Carolina