Round 1, Pick 18 - OT Trevor Penning, Northern Iowa
When I first got to Mobile for the Senior Bowl, the first impression that I got watching practice was that Trevor Penning is cut out for the NFL. He was a man amongst men. He has experience on both sides and could play either side in the NFL from Day 1 depending on how the Saints want to use Ryan Ramczyk. This pick is obviously assuming beloved veteran Terron Armstead would be on the move in the off-season. He is strong, athletic enough, tough, has good fundamentals, and is BIG. With proper training (which the Saints should offer) he could be a franchise tackle in the NFL. No one can question his competitiveness either, he was a bully all week during the Senior Bowl in the best way possible. Never gave up. I know some fans hate the idea of drafting a tackle, but it might be a necessity depending on how the off-season unfolds.
Round 2, Pick 49 - WR David Bell, Purdue
Should the Saints wait until Day 2 to take a wide receiver, there will not be a better option available than David Bell. I would be perfectly find with them taking the Boilermaker at 18, that just doesn’t seem to be where his projection puts him for now. He does everything well. A jack of all trades type of player. His weakest attribute would be his long speed, but even then it’s just around average. It also doesn’t impact his ability to make big plays. He is arguably the best pure catcher in college football. He constantly had to contort his body due to not always getting the best ball placement and made great adjustments. I think he and Michael Thomas would be a great combo, as they could both be used in a plethora of ways.
Since Purdue wide receiver David Bell said he models his game after #Bears WR Allen Robinson, I continue to see the similarities in their play.— Nicholas Moreano (@NicholasMoreano) February 23, 2022
This catch vs. Notre Dame showcases plenty of Bell's best traits: route running, release, hands, ball skills and big-play ability. pic.twitter.com/Ge5hbG92O2
I keep hearing that David Bell can’t separate. I just don’t get it.— Jacob Infante (@jacobinfante24) February 26, 2022
He’s diverse in his releases, technical with his stems and clean out of his breaks. Just because he’s not a speedster doesn’t mean he can’t get open. #Bears pic.twitter.com/Z4Hs7TfQ5B
New Orleans Saints Receive
- Pick 3.77
- Pick 3.100
- Pick 5.160
Round 3, Pick 77 - RB Breece Hall, Iowa State
An extra fifth round pick is a small price to pay for potentially the best back in the class. We don’t have time to waste with an aging defense, and this off-season has all been about trying to pick up from how we left off last season. Not starting over. We have no clue what is going on with Alvin Kamara’s legal situation. Even if he comes back sooner than later, Hall would be a great back to go with as a bruiser in the long term. Hall has played in a similar zone run system to the one the Saints use in college, so it could be a potential plug and play with him where the Saints get early production.
Round 4, Pick 118 - TE Greg Dulcich, UCLA
Dulcich may be the best possible TE in the draft to pair with Adam Trautman. Trautman is an elite blocker where as Dulcich could be a better vertical threat compared to what Trautman has been so far. He’s a former receiver, so he is a natural with his ball skills and route-running. He offers what Saints fans have been begging to see for a LONG time now. He had a very productive last two years at UCLA.
I’m intrigued by #UCLA TE Greg Dulcich, a former walk-on who became a break out star last season for the Bruins…awesome story and flashed watching USC and Colorado defensive film last draft class, can’t wait to do a full evaluation on him.pic.twitter.com/Tm0ROwex10— Devin Jackson (@RealD_Jackson) June 29, 2021
Round 4, Pick 136 - DL Otito Ogbonnia, UCLA
Otito Ogbonnia offers an elite DL skillset for what the Saints like in their linemen. He dominated the Senior Bowl 1-on-1s with his strength/explosiveness mix and pass rush skills. While he is great on passing downs he also has some great run defense to his game as well. I wanted UCLA DL Osa Odighizuwa last year, and this could be a chance to right that wrong as Otito’s former teammate has proven to be a valuable NFL player.
Man oh man… Otito Ogbonnia is a LOAD one on one.— Spencer N. Schultz (@ravens4dummies) February 2, 2022
Cole Strange had a nice day today but Ogbonnia’s explosiveness, pad level and leverage are TOUGH. pic.twitter.com/z2CXnjM0oE
Round 6, Pick 213 - Zakoby McClain, Auburn
McClain is one of the best tacklers in the draft. Right off the bat he would be a situational/developmental linebacker, but he offers a lot as a special teamer. We all know that Day 3 is Special Teams day for the Saints. He is smart and athletic, but still has some stuff to learn to be a core part of the Saints defense. Luckily though, most of the deficiencies he can work through if he’s willing to learn.
.@AuburnFootball LB Zakoby McClain (@RicochetRabbit) is a ‘tweener when it comes to size & position fit but active & instinctive players generally find a home on NFL rosters. Made a bunch of impactful plays like this getting to Ole Miss QB Matt Corral.#TheDraftStartsInMOBILE™️ https://t.co/1qReOCnKLh pic.twitter.com/8GUDJFMlLn— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) November 1, 2021
Round 7, Pick 234 - Smoke Monday, Auburn
Smoke Monday is not too dissimilar to his former teammate Zakoby McClain that we just touched on. He projects as someone who will be a great special teams asset while developing as a safety. He could have time to learn as Malcolm Jenkins continues to eventually age out of the NFL. He is not a Day 1 plug for if the Saints lose Marcus Williams, but I like his game a lot.
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