LSU wide receiver Justin Jefferson? Gone to the Philadelphia Eagles at Pick 21.
Alabama’s Henry Rugs? To the Denver Broncos 15th. Jerry Jeudy? 12th to the Las Vegas Raiders. Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb? Snagged by the Arizona Cardinals 8th overall.
Lamb’s teammate, linebacker Kenneth Murray? Off the board one pick earlier to the New England Patriots 23rd overall.
What about Utah State QB Jordan Love? Tom Brady’s heir apparent in Tampa, picked by the Buccaneers 14th overall.
There were a lot of surprises in the SB Nation mock draft. By the time the New Orleans Saints were on the clock, there were a few options on the board. When it came time to enter the Saints pick, the call was LSU’s Patrick Queen.
It was incredibly hard not to pick Oregon QB Justin Herbert here after he made it past the Patriots. I fully anticipated the Pats to grab Herbert, leaving LB Kenneth Murray out of Oklahoma to still be there when the Saints were on the clock. Instead, New England sniped the player on our big board, leaving New Orleans in a bit of a dilemma. Do the Saints take the value play and grab a risky, but high-ceiling quarterback of the future to replace Drew Brees - a player who some project as a top-10 talent in this year’s draft? Or do they instead reach a little for what could be the final piece to put the Saints over the top in what is likely Drew’s final Super Bowl run?
Ultimately, the questions surrounding Herbert’s accuracy made the pick too much of a risk, so the Saints pulled the trigger on local linebacker Patrick Queen out of LSU. Outside of Demario Davis, the Saints have a trio of injury concerns at linebacker in Kiko Alonso (Achilles), Alex Anzalone (shoulder), and Kaden Elliss (knee). Queen is someone who can immediately slot in at the position in 2020 with eyes on a long-term role of replacing Demario down the road. There are still plenty of wide receivers and tight ends that will be available in the second round, so the Saints can still trade up later to grab another impact player on offense - or maybe Herbert if he keeps falling.
It was tough to pass on Justin Herbert, and I was worried the Who Dat Nation would disagree with the pick. Turns out, the overwhelming majority would have taken Queen in the same scenario:
I just submitted the Saints pick in the SB Nation mock draft. Murray, Love, & Justin Jefferson were all off the board. Who would you have picked of these names?— Christopher Dunnells (@ChrisDunnells) April 13, 2020
What do you think about the pick? Would you have drafted Justin Herbert? Maybe Tee Higgins or another wide receiver? Let me know in the comments. Send me presents.