2022 is off to a pretty good start for the Saints, as they were able to resign Jameis Winston to a friendly deal while also maintaining their draft assets. Because of Terron Armstead’s depature, Mickey Loomis and first year Head Coach Dennis Allen need to find some help on the offensive line. The Saints do still have around $17 million to spend in free agency, but in my opinion, they’re looking to get a veteran receiver with the money that’s left. Which leaves the draft to thicken up the front 4. Here are five prospects in this year’s draft to keep your eye on:
EVAN NEAL, 6-7, 337lbs, JR, Alabama
The young man played for Nick Saban. Should I say more? But seriously, Neal is a pass-protector extraordinaire, with a 6.76 prospect grade (Year 1 Starter) at the combine and graded an elite 99 by Amazon Next Gen Stats. Now, New Orleans would have to trade up in order to get him, as he’s ranked as the 4th overall prospect according to CBS Sports, but this is definitely an option.
Daniel Faalele, 6-8, 384lbs, SR, Minnesota
This would be more of a project move for the Saints, but could develop into a solid piece on the line. He’s got sheer strength, but may struggle with the speed of some NFL defensive linemen early on.
Max Mitchell, 6-6, 307 lbs, SR, Louisiana
This guy is special. I might be a bit biased having covered the Cajuns for the last 4 seasons, but Mitchell is an under-the-radar type of player that is going to make an NFL Quarterback very happy. He’s got great footwork, the raw ability to pass block, and the football IQ to know the defense’s move before they do. New Orleans might be able to get him in the second or third round, and if that’s the case, scoop him up at all costs.
Nicholas Petit-Frere, 6-5, 316lbs, JR, Ohio St
We all know the Ohio State connection. Michael Thomas, Marshon Lattimore, Malcom Jenkins, you get the point. Petit-Frere is a raw talent with room to improve, but possesses raw fundamentals that make him a good Day 2 pickup for New Orleans. Plus, with his left tackle ability, he can share reps at the open left tackle position in order to get him used to the NFL.
Dylan Parham, 6-3, 311lbs, SR, Memphis
Parham played guard in college, but I feel like he has what it takes to make the jump to left tackle. The way he’s able to jump out from the snap and protect running lanes makes him an asset to a Saints team that has focused more on the run in years past. Parham has a big upside potential and could fill some holes up front for New Orleans