The New Orleans Saints now have their staff (mostly) settled. It’s time for the latest mock draft! No preset rules for this one. Just going to take it round to round and see how I feel!
Round 1, Pick 18 - WR Jahan Dotson, Penn State
The more I watch Jahan Dotson, the more I realize that he is the wide receiver that needs to be wearing a Saints uniform next season. I know Michael Thomas is supposed to be coming back, but the Saints biggest need going into this next draft should still be wide receiver. Dotson would be a fantastic player to have complimenting Thomas. Dotson is the most willing and best blocker of any of the top wideouts, which is something the Saints care a mighty large amount about. He competes at a high level. He has huge hands and comes down with the catch a very high rate. He is a great route runner. Should the Saints want to bring in a more vertical air game post-Sean Payton, Dotson is great for that as well.
Finally doing my full-on study of Jahan Dotson and I'm loving it. Such an easy separator, and a technician.— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) January 18, 2022
Very few holes for me to nitpick in this guy's game. A real joy to watch. pic.twitter.com/6TjkEhmQcn
Round 2, Pick 49 - S Jalen Pitre, Baylor
A position that the Saints need to look at, that is not being talked about much is safety. With Malcolm Jenkins aging, the team looking at a potential PJ Williams replacement/upgrade, and possibly more, Pitre is a DB that could be moved all around the Saints secondary to fit whatever they need. He is all over the field and is highly competitive. I think he would he mesh well on and off the field with Saints defense. Safety is never a very deep position in the draft with a rising price tag in free agency, so the Saints could put themselves in a good position by drafting talent when they can get it. Pitre is also a Senior Bowl standout that the Saints love to draft.
Starting my 2nd final eval of the year with Jalen Pitre (Baylor SAF #8)— Ben Glassmire (@BenGlassmireNFL) December 9, 2021
Love this play from him here. Comes across the formation, reads the play-action and gets outside to take down the receiver quickly. Excellent processing speed from him on this play. pic.twitter.com/Vrett2hCkQ
New Orleans Saints Receive
- Pick 3.76
Baltimore Ravens Receive
- Pick 3.100
- Pick 4.136
Round 3, Pick 76 - TE Jeremy Ruckert
I had the Saints trade up for Ruckert here, because I didn’t want them to miss out on another elite TE talent. Ruckert and Trautman would actually make for a fantastic duo. You could look for both of them to be great blocking talents and give great effort every play, but the Saints could also drop either of them into routes and have them be a vertical threat. I know Trautman hasn’t exactly panned out, but I believe he still could contribute. Ruckert has all of the traits of the top TEs in the NFL and could turn out to be a problem for defenses for a long time to come. I think he is perfect for the Saints system.
Jeremy Ruckert is going to be a far more productive pro than he was in college (think Dawson Knox) 6”5 250, strong athlete but here’s what you have to love. Manhandling George Karlaftis in pass pro. Don’t think he gets out of round 2 @LedyardNFLDraft pic.twitter.com/grFSiPvaYq— Will Parkinson (@Willpa11) February 17, 2022
Round 4, Pick 118 - OT Max Mitchell, Louisiana
I don’t actually think the Saints will be freaking out about offensive line as much as some might. I believe that they will be content, if they have to run out a combo of Hurst and Ramczyk next season. However, Ryan Ramczyk has incentives in his contract for playing left tackle. I think a great option would be moving your big talent to the left side of the line, knowing he is capable of doing it. That would leave a hole at right tackle for Hurst or a draft prospect to fill. That’s where Max Mitchell comes in. Mitchell was the top-rated tackle in college football and offers great potential as a franchise player on either end of the line.
One of my favorite under-the-radar OT prospects this year is #Louisiana RT Max Mitchell.— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) October 22, 2021
He’s athletic, aggressive and does a great job with his hand exchange. He has NFL starting potential - keep him on the radar. pic.twitter.com/Lb6wprS5R5
Round 5, Pick 160 - RB Dameon Pierce, Florida
With no one knowing what’s going to happen with Alvin Kamara, the Saints have to look at their options for another running back to pair with Mark Ingram for at least some time to start the season. Pierce is a runner that I believe is built to contribute early in the NFL. He is an experienced back who also doesn’t have a ton of tread on his tires. He did all that you could ask from a back at Florida. He isn’t flashy, but you know what you’re getting. He is going to play hard and run harder. The Saints could use that.
florida's dameon pierce plays w/outstanding patience & understanding of his team's run blocking scheme. his one-cut north/south style is made for the NFL— Ray G (@RayGQue) February 20, 2022
he impressed during senior bowl week. he's going to be a productive player if he gets the opportunity. Im a big fan #NFLDraft pic.twitter.com/tqLSibW4yL
Round 6, Pick 213 - QB Kaleb Eleby, Western Michigan
The Saints should re-sign Jameis Winston as quick as they can. With the Taysom Hill experiment likely over, and Ian Book being a question mark, they should look for another young QB to add to that room. There is a lot to like about Kaleb Eleby, he would be a great project at the next level. He has a good arm, makes good decisions, and is mobile enough. His accuracy is just not very consistent.
Round 7, Pick 234 - DL Neil Farrell Jr, LSU
Farrell is one of the best run defenders that I have seen up close. He gets off the line quickly and strong. He loves the game and deserves a shot in the NFL. He would be a good addition to the Saints highly rotational DL. He doesn’t have a crazy toolset but will be a valuable situational tool in the right defense.
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