The offseason - and mock draft season - continue rolling.
Former New York Jets General Manager Mike Tannebaum released his “GM picks” mock draft for ESPN (Insider required). For the New Orleans Saints, Tannebaum gives the team help on the defensive side of the ball in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft:
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, ILB, Notre Dame
I see Owusu-Koramoah as a hybrid defender in the NFL, and he’s not the type of player you’ll often see on the open market. The Saints could use him in a lot of different ways, including at weakside linebacker or in the “overhang” position. Among the other players I thought about for a variety of areas: Wake Forest edge rusher Carlos Basham Jr., Alabama defensive tackle Christian Barmore, Texas linebacker Joseph Ossai and a handful of receivers.
One thing to know: According to Pro Football Focus, Owusu-Koramoah took 195 snaps along the defensive line, 433 in the box and 680 in the slot over the past two seasons.
Considering the available options at other positions of need for the Saints that are still available in free agency (like cornerback Richard Sherman or Tavon Austin), it’s hard to argue too much with Owusu-Koramoah.
Interestingly, Tannebaum had Tulsa linebacker Zalen Collins going to the New York Jets five picks earlier when most rankings have Owuwu-Koramoah ranked ahead of Collins. If the draft were indeed to fall this way, the Saints should run to the podium to make the pick, despite their prior bad luck with drafting linebackers early (Stephon Anthony, anyone?).
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