In recent years, it was not uncommon to see the New Orleans Saints draft the same position - some times even the same player - in multiple mock drafts as the offseason progresses. Don’t expect that to be the case this year.
In Mel Kiper’s most recent mock draft for ESPN (Insider required), Kiper acknowledges the uncertainty surrounding the Saints’ draft needs come the time New Orleans is on the clock near the end of the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. In this draft, he has the Saints replacing a key player on defense:
Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU
It’s really hard to project what the Saints are going to do because their offseason is in flux. They don’t have any salary-cap space to make moves. These are of some of their pending free agents: Marcus Williams, Trey Hendrickson, Jameis Winston, Jared Cook, Sheldon Rankins and P.J. Williams. And then there’s the Drew Brees dilemma, as the 42-year-old quarterback could retire. Moehrig, the top safety in my rankings, would be the successor to 33-year-old Malcolm Jenkins. He had six interceptions over the past two seasons. Again, though, this pick is more about projecting for the Saints’ current needs, which could be very different in April.
You can’t fault Kiper’s logic too much here, but what the Saints do with Marcus Williams would obviously impact using their first pick on a safety. In a world where the Saints are able to retain Marcus, it might make more sense to go after any other position on the defense, including linebacker, defensive line, and cornerback.
There’s also room to add players on the offensive side of the ball, as the Saints could look to draft a tight end, wide receiver, offensive lineman, or - as Kiper even indicates - possible a quarterback.
Mock draft season will be fun.
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