We’re still rolling through mock draft season, and in CBS Sports’ recent mock draft, the New Orleans Saints make a safe, yet unspectacular selection with the 24th overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft. Instead of adding a wide receiver to pair with Michael Thomas, the Saints instead choose to improve the other side of the ball:
Kenneth Murray LB OKLAHOMA • JR • 6’2” / 234 LBS
PROSPECT RNK 26th POSITION RNK 2nd
New Orleans has an odd assortment of middle linebackers. They abandon the platoon model for a young, active sideline to sideline linebacker.
Murray is a solid choice to improve the defense. If the Saints instead wanted to add to the secondary, Florida CB CJ Henderson and Alabama CB Trevon Diggs, brother of Vikings WR Stefon Diggs, were both available at 24, with Henderson going 27th and Diggs going 28th overall.
At wide receiver, the expected duo of Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb (11th overall to the Arizona Cardinals) and Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy (13th overall to the Indianapolis Colts) were both gone in the top 15 picks. Jeudy’s teammate, Henry Ruggs III, went 15th to the Denver Broncos, while Clemson’s Tee Higgins went 21st overall to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Of the bigger names at wide receiver, Laviska Shenault, Jr. was still available for New Orleans, as Shenault went to the Green Bay Packers 30th overall in this mock draft. LSU’s Justin Jefferson went one pick later to the San Francisco 49ers.
But there was one bigger name that conceivably would have been available for New Orleans at wide receiver if the team was so inclined. In this mock draft, the Vikings traded Stefon Diggs to the Baltimore Ravens in exchange for the 28th overall pick, the pick used by the Vikings to draft Diggs’s brother, in a moment of cruel irony.
So if New Orleans was willing to take on Stefon Diggs’s contract (four years remaining at approximately $11 million per year), the Saints could opt for turning the 24th overall selection not into an unproven rookie, but a talented Pro Bowler.