For this draft, I made a couple of baseless trades to get two late-third round selections and another in the sixth round in order to mimic expected compensatory picks. The two third round picks would in exchange for losing each QB Terry Bridgewater in the last free agent cycle and now Falcons GM Terry Fontenot this offseason. Meanwhile the sixth should come in compensation for A.J. Klein being signed by the Buffalo Bills last year.
Keep in mind, this mock isn’t about predicting anything. It’s about introducing you to Senior Prospects and their early draft projections.
Round 1, Pick 28 - NDSU Offensive Tackle Dillon Radunz
Height: 6’5 5/8” Weight: 304 lbs. Wingspan: 80 1/4” Arms: 33 1/4” Hands: 9 1/8”
Radunz should be a first-round prospect if not for people being arbitrarily hung up on 3/4s of an inch when it comes to arm length. Hopefully the scouts plan to look past it because the former North Dakota State University is an absolute mauler. I called him a “snow plow” a lot during the week because he effortlessly moved anyone lined up in front of him out of the way without losing a beat. As if he were driven by a motor himself. He did get some work on the interior at left guard during his stop in Mobile as well. He performed just as well there as he did on the end. Radunz was named the Senior Bowl overall practice player-of-the-week.
Great rep by Dillon Radunz, yellow helmet LT. Followed this up by getting downfield clearing the way on a run the next play. pic.twitter.com/ZFhQQcvB35— Ross Jackson (@RossJacksonNOLA) January 26, 2021
Radunz came out of high school as a defensive end, was recruited as a 3-tech interior defensive lineman, and was quickly moved to left tackle with the Bison. He miss a start in 2018 upon a return from an ACL tear that cut his 2017 season short. He quickly entered the conversation of an elite prospect by maintaining that durability in 2019 while not allowing a single sack.
If level of competition is a concern for the offensive lineman, as it often is for small-school prospects, he helped to curve that narrative last week. Even if the NFL does force him inside, there’s good reason to have that versatility amongst the depth of the New Orleans offensive line.
Round 2, Pick 60 - Oklahoma State Wide Receiver Tylan Wallace
Height: 5’11” Weight: 193 lbs. Wingspan: 72 1/2” Arms: 32 5/8” Hands: 9 1/2”
Wallace was so good in Mobile that his Senior Bowl ended after just two days of practice. He consistently beat his competition, made plays, and created wild amounts of separation. The former Oklahoma State Cowboy looked heads and shoulders above the competition and was incredibly hard to keep your eyes off of in the media section. He had defenders beat right off the snap on several occasions. He sold routes so convincingly, he put opposing defenders on the ground.
During the the last three seasons, Wallace compiled over 900 receiving yards, missing a game of action in 2019 and putting up 1,491 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2017. He finished his college career with a 16.8 yard per catch average. He also has some special teams experience. But his work as a receiver, a sharp route-runner, sticky hands, and impressive speed would be great traits to foster behind Emmanuel Sanders if he returns for 2021.
Of note: Wallace doesn’t hit the thresholds of a usual draft selection at this position for the Saints. The only receiver taken by the Saints in the Payton era that measured both under 6-foot and 200 pounds was Brandin Cooks. Cooks was taken for his incredible speed, Wallace would have to bring something unmatched to the table as well.
Round 3, Comp Pick - Mississippi Tight End Kenny Yeboah
Height: 6’3 7/8” Weight: 247 lbs. Wingspan: 80 3/4” Arms: 33 1/4” Hands: 9 3/8”
Looking for a pass-catching tight end? Look no further than the University of Mississippi’s Kenny Yeboah. Sticky hands, great athleticism, and some promising reps as a blocker caught the eyes of all in Hancock Whitney Stadium. All week long he continued to make great catch after great catch. He’s a bit raw, as are most tight ends coming out of the Rebels’ program. But he has a lot of intriguing tools that could make him a threatening developmental piece along with Adam Trautman at the position.
In Yeboah’s one season in Oxford, after transferring from Temple, he averaged an astounding 19.4 yards per catch totaling 524 yards and sic touchdowns on just 27 catches.
Round 3, Comp Pick - Tulane Edge Rusher Cameron Sample
Height: 6’2 3/4” Weight: 274 lbs. Wingspan: 81” Arms: 32 1/2” Hands: 10”
CSC’s Dylan Sanders has followed Sample closely and he drew a lot of attention this week. The Atlanta-native has been in New Orleans for his collegiate career and has fallen in love with it, so why not keep him around? Sample moves very smoothly and carries those 274 pounds very well despite his 6’2” frame. He rushed successfully on the edge and in the interior and also made some nice plays in the run game.
Sample never put down an eye-popping double-digit sack season in college which may deter some. But his motor, agility, and production last week is no accident. There’s a lot of potential to unlock in the former Green Wave pass rusher.
Round 4, Pick 130 - WVU/Arizona Linebacker Tony Fields II
Height: 6’1” Weight: 222 lbs. Wingspan: 76” Arms: 30 3/4” Hands: 9”
A bit undersized for my personal liking at this position, but hey, this is an exercise in getting to know prospects. Tony Fields was voted his team’s top linebacker, which was voted on by the tight ends and running backs he faced all week. Fields’ size may cause concern, but he’s extremely physical and his football IQ is off the charts. The latter trait was a very important one for the Saints’ evaluation process last year, have to imagine it will be again.
WVU LB Tony Fields II is a physical and athletic LB... Nice jam on collision point with Michael Carter.— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) January 27, 2021
Did lots of roles for WVU on 3rd down - blitzer, QB spy, TE/RB Coverage. Always around the football pic.twitter.com/V0Vah7BeuG
The former Mountaineer/Wildcat’s technique and efficiency in coverage is what will draw attention to him. Bulking up for the run game at the next level will be a likely focus. One he’ll probably welcome as it’s clear how much he loves the game the more film I watch of him.
Fields logged at least 88 tackles in each of his four years, three interceptions, six passes defended, and 21 tackles for a loss.
Round 6, Comp Pick - Oklahoma Cornerback Tre Brown
Height: 5’9 3/4” Weight: 188 lbs. Wingspan: 74 3/4” Arms: 30 1/4” Hands: 9 1/2”
Another undersized prospect here. But again, it’s about learning about new prospects. Brown is another player voted by his peers as the top corner for his team in Mobile. His size didn’t hold him back as snatch not just one, but two interceptions in one-on-ones in practice. Considering one-on-ones are heavily weighted in favor of the receiver - that’s notable production for the Sooner.
You never see picks in 1-on-1's— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) January 27, 2021
Oklahoma CB Tre Brown got a pick in 1-on-1's pic.twitter.com/2zQwrGQ1n8
What I really liked about Brown were his physicality, stickiness, and anticipation. He did a very good job diagnosing routes and working himself into position, even against some of the twitchiest and fastest guys on the field. I also loved that his week wasn’t perfect. He actually faced some early adversity before turning it around in the second and third days of practice. That type of development in front of NFL coaching staffs is impressive and speaks highly of the prospect.
Any of these prospects stand out to you? Let us know in the comments. Make sure you follow Canal Street Chronicles on Twitter at @SaintsCSC, “Like” us on Facebook at Canal Street Chronicles, and make sure you’re subscribed to our new YouTube channel. As always, you can follow me on Twitter @RossJacksonNOLA and subscribe to my daily Saints podcast, Locked On Saints.