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QB of the future? - 2022 Post-Combine Saints Mock Draft

The Saints are known to love athletes, let’s take a look at who could be the next draft selections.

NFL Combine Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

The New Orleans Saints are known to follow the gospel of the Relative Athletic Score, presented to us by the great Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb). They always draft great athletes, which is why combine week is a big deal for Saints fans. Let’s take a look at a mock draft where everyone drafted was a top performer at the 2022 NFL Combine.

Trade

Kansas City Chiefs receive

  • Pick 1.18

New Orleans Saints receive

  • Pick 1.30
  • Pick 3.94
  • Pick 4.133

Round 1, Pick 30 - QB Desmond Ridder, Cincinati

Relative Athletic Score: 9.79

The Saints find a QB that fits their mold and also allows them to trade back and gain more picks to fill out their roster with rookie contracts. Desmond Ridder is a divisive player. Teams are known to be high on him, and draft twitter seems to hate him. I’d probably lean closer to the NFL teams, I’ve been a fan of his for a while. His play on the field has certainly been up and down, you can’t argue that. Outside of that he’s a competitor, great leader, winner, and as confirmed by the combine he’s a great athlete. I think he has all of the tools to win, especially in the system expected to be run by Pete Carmichael. Getting him at 30 is important, you gain that important fifth-year option to allow him time to grow and learn in the QB room. I don’t think you draft him with the intention of starting him in year one. This is likely a future where Jameis Winston signs elsewhere, but you can still get another veteran on the market while Ridder sits to begin his career.

Round 2, Pick 49 - WR Christian Watson, North Dakota State

NFL: Scouting Combine Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Relative Athletic Score: 9.98

Christian Watson has been a sharp riser over the past couple of months. His performance at the combine may push him out of the Saints scopes at 49, but I think it’s the perfect spot for him. He’s obviously a great athlete, but he also has great size and ball skills at the catch. He was used all over the place at NDSU, just using his athleticism to overpower his competition, despite not having the craziest numbers. He had a great Senior Bowl to along with a great combine and has proven himself as someone to watch over the next month and a half until the draft.

Round 3, Pick 94 - OL Cole Strange, Chattanooga

NFL: MAR 03 Scouting Combine Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Relative Athletic Score: 9.94

The Saints address their offensive line, but not at the spot that you expect. Strange was one of the first players to catch my eye at the Senior Bowl, I was a huge fan of his game. He was a shocker there and a shocker at the combine. I knew he’d score well, but I would be lying if I said I expected it to be THIS good. I think he would be a great guard for this offensive line. He has a high motor on film and is already solid in both pass and run protection. He might not start week one, but with inconsistent play at the position last year it’s not out of the question.

Round 3, Pick 100 - LB Brandon Smith, Penn State

NFL Combine Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Relative Athletic Score: 9.99

Brandon Smith offered one of the best combines by an off-ball linebacker of all time. His size and athleticism combination is crazy. This added on with his film makes him super intriguing. He is not needed on day one for the Saints room, which is good, but he adds a ton of pure talent to the room. He is raw, and can sit while the older linebackers in New Orleans grow out of the NFL.

Round 4, Pick 118 - WR Alec Pierce, Cincinnati

NFL Combine Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Relative Athletic Score: 9.62

The Saints are being very active in the WR market this off-season, but don’t have a ton of money to spend on free agents. The logical conclusion is to have them add two wideouts in the draft. Desmond Ridder’s college teammate almost makes more sense for the team than the QB himself. He is big and fast with great hands. People have likened him to Chase Claypool, which would be a great addition for the Saints WR room.

Round 4, Pick 133 - RB Zamir White, Georgia

NFL Combine Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Relative Athletic Score: 9.82

This one was a big surprise to me. He was the power back for Georgia but scored off the charts for a guy coming off of two ACLs. He was highly touted out of high school, and if healthy would be a great piece in the RB rotation for the Saints. He could be the downhill runner to compliment Alvin Kamara but has the talent to fill in on any down when Kamara isn’t available.

Round 4, Pick 136 - S JT Woods, Baylor

NFL Combine Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Relative Athletic Score: 9.87

In a year where the safeties are considered very much a weakness, and it was backed up by lackluster performances by most of the class, JT Woods was very much a standout in Indy. He brings versatility to the safety position, he can certainly play as a strong safety in the NFL. He also has the range and ball-hawk skills to play as a single-high.

Round 5, Pick 160 - DL Thomas Booker, Stanford

NFL Combine Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Relative Athletic Score: 9.81

I was a big fan of his going into the season, and certainly still am, but he didn’t have a world-beating 2021 campaign. Still solid, and showed he has tons of traits for a versatile defensive lineman that fits the New Orleans Saints mold. He is strong enough, obviously explosive, and has an extremely high motor. He could contribute on day one, but with the upside to become an anchor on the inside. Learning from the Saints DL staff and other players could prove to be scary stuff from Booker.

Round 6, Pick 213 - TE Daniel Bellinger, San Diego State

NFL Combine Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Relative Athletic Score: 9.45

Daniel Bellinger is a solid depth piece for the Saints offense, and would be very good situationally when called upon. He probably won’t be the replacement to Trautman, should he not continue to develop, but would be a great compliment. He’s another one who had a great showing in Mobile.

Round 7, Pick 234 - OT Austin Deculus, LSU

NFL Combine Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Relative Athletic Score: 8.13

Sometimes, the best ability is availability. We have all heard this a bunch, but it holds very much true for the Saints and their OL in year’s past. Deculus has played the most games in the history of the LSU Tigers. His career has had ups and downs, but he is consistently out there. He’s had a good off-season, and has definitely shown flashes during his career. You could find much worse depth in the seventh round.


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