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Saints with a slam dunk pick in CBS Sports’ latest mock draft

This would be a big lift for the defense.

Tulsa v South Florida Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Another mock draft, another position of need drafted in the first round by the New Orleans Saints.

We’ve seen safety, quarterback, defensive tackle, and offensive tackle. This time, a fifth position heads to the Saints in CBS Sports’ recent mock draft:

Zaven Collins LB

TULSA • JR • 6’4” / 260 LBS

For the season, Collins had four sacks, four interceptions (including two pick-sixes) and two forced fumbles. At 6-foot-4, 260 pounds, he looks more like a defensive end but moves with the fluidity of the modern day inside linebackers that have become so prevalent around the league. The Saints could also be looking for a QB and even a wideout, but with the best players at those positions already off the board, they opt to bolster the defense.

I haven’t said this about any of the other mock drafts we’ve reported, save for maybe the Mac Jones selection, but this would be an incredible pick for the Saints.

Collins, along with Pro Bowler Demario Davis, could create one of the better linebacking duos in the entire NFL. The duo could conceivably receive a boost if or when a healthy Kwon Alexander is able to see the field for the Saints in 2021 (assuming a contract restructure), and Collins presents an obvious upgrade over pending free agent Alex Anzalone.

Zaven Collins is a true three-down linebacker who can play off the ball, rush the passer, and is a sure tackler. Just look at some of these highlights:

In this CBS mock, the Saints have their choice of top tier linebackers, with Notre Dame’s Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah on the board until the Buffalo Bills at pick #30. If the Saints could end up with either player on their defense - assuming the quarterback position has already been addressed - look out.


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