Have you heard this story before? The New Orleans Saints traded their remaining third and fourth round picks to move up in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Wide receiver was a huge need for the team and the Saints solved it with this first pick by taking Chris Olave from Ohio State. For day two though, this means the Saints have just one pick on the night, for now. The Saints currently have the 17th pick in the second round. There are still good to great players on the board. With the Saints already addressing the offense in the first round, the team has many options on draft night part two.
Saints in position to take BPA
With the 49th overall pick, the New Orleans Saints can select from a wide array of players. This pick is the only one remaining on day two after the Saints previous two trades. With a tackle and wide receiver already selected, the Saints can easily address other positions with this lone pick. A trade up is unlikely today, as the other two remaining picks are low in the fifth (161) and sixth rounds (194). With just 16 picks ahead of them in day two, there will likely be many players at the top of their position available.
Best players remaining in day two
One of the obvious positions that will get a lot of chatter today is at quarterback. Only one quarterback was taken in the first round. This has not happened since 2013. Day two is likely to see most of these players selected though. The Saints will likely have the option for one of these remaining signal callers tonight. Malik Willis is the top at the position on a lot of draft boards. Desmond Ridder is likely the most pro-ready. Guys who might need a year behind a veteran remain as well. Sam Howell and Matt Corral would benefit from sitting behind both Jameis Winston and Andy Dalton. Without a first-round pick next year, many thought the Saints would be looking at quarterback in the first round. With almost all of the quarterbacks falling, the position is still intriguing going into night two.
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Defense can fill holes in round two
The Saints have addressed the offenses biggest concerns though already. The defense will likely be stout again but adding a starter will always help the entire team. Inside linebacker, safety, and defensive tackle could be on the draft board for the Saints. Each position boasts several top tier talent for the second draft night. At the top end, linebacker might have the best remaining players on the board. Many thought that these names could be first round picks. Nakobe Dean out of Georgia is not likely to last long. The 5’11, 229 pound inside linebacker can play near the line but has the range to drop into coverage. Christian Harris, 6’1 and 226 pounds, out of Alabama will be intriguing as well. Harris is a more traditional linebacker who would thrive patrolling the middle of the field. Chad Muma out of Wyoming could be a wildcard at the position in night two though.
There are good players at safety remaining as well. The team lost Marcus Williams to free agency and Malcolm Jenkins to retirement this off-season so safety is a needed position. On the board going into the second round are three players at the top of the safety position. Jalen Pitre from Baylor is a more coverage strong player who could swap to cornerback. Jaquan Brisker out of Penn State is a diverse safety who lined up all around the field in college, including linebacker. Kerby Joseph might be the best safety left though. Joseph, out of Illinois, had five interceptions and three forced fumbles last season. Brisker and Joseph are comfortable in the box or in coverage, which will translate well to the NFL.
Don’t forget the meat
Lastly, the Saints could use some help at defensive tackle in day two. There are some big players, literally, available that could step right into the Saints strong rotation. The biggest of these is Travis Jones out of UConn. The 6’4, 325 pounder is more of a traditional nose tackle but could easily step into a base 4-3 defense to eat up blocks. Perrion Winfrey, 6’4 and 290 pounds, is a much quicker player who could also rush the passer and chase down running backs. Phidarian Mathis, 6’4 and 310 pounds, is a traditional 4-3 defensive tackle out of Alabama. The SEC prospect is great with his hands and is still learning to use his power and speed to pass rush from the inside. Mathis might have the most upside of any defensive tackle remaining in day two. No matter what happens though, the Saints are in a great position to add another starter to the team.