With news coming yesterday afternoon that the New Orleans Saints and Philadelphia Eagles had agreed to a massive trade that will result in the Saints having two first round picks (16 & 19), we now have to wait until draft day to see what the team does but there is certainly a plethora of options. Quarterback, wide receiver, and offensive tackle all seem like the more reasonable options, so let's dive into what could potentially happen on draft night.
Round 1, 16th Pick: Trevor Penning OT, Northern Iowa
With the loss of Terron Armstead, left tackle became an immediate need for this team going into the 2022 NFL season. Now with two first round selections, the Saints are in prime position to immediately address several positions of need. I feel the jump to 16 was to get over the Chargers, who after upgrading the defense during free agency, is in need of another offensive tackle after releasing Bryan Bulaga. Penning would be the tackle I see available at 16, his story almost mirrors Armstead in a way being a super athletic tackle from a small school. Penning has everything you want in a starting offensive tackle... size, power, speed, and both run and pass block and plays with a chip on his shoulder.
Round 1, 19th Pick: Chris Olave WR, Ohio State
At pick 19, you really are in the driver's seat for whichever receiver you want in the 1st round. Chris Olave makes almost too much sense in this offense. A great route runner and deep threat to pair with Michael Thomas underneath will give the Saints a one-two punch that we haven’t seen at the position in some time.
Round 2, 49th Pick: Jalen Pitre DB, Baylor
If the Saints chose to do nothing else at the safety position, Pitre is a guy who makes a lot of sense in the 2nd round. Pitre is your “Jack of all trades” defensive back who really can do it all. His ability to play man coverage and zone is really what helped Baylor become a top-level defense this past season. The only real question I have about Pitre is does he have that top end NFL speed? He ran a 4.44 40 time, which will shut me up and not ask that question again.
Round 3, 98th Pick: James Cook RB, Georgia
The running back position really just a huge question mark since we don’t know anything about a punishment for Alvin Kamara for his altercation in Las Vegas earlier this year. With the only other back on the roster being Mark Ingram, the Saints must address the position during the draft. Cook is a patient back, who waits for holes to develop and has home run speed. It would be a perfect situation to learn from Kamara and Ingram and develop the Georgia back.
Round 4, 120th Pick: Matthew Butler DL, Tennessee
The Saints have made sure to address the defensive line during the free agency period so far. Bringing in Butler would only add more wood to that fire, His size and 40 time during the NFL combine stood out the most to me. Watching some tape, he possesses good balance and power, as well as effort. Whether it’s to chase a guy down or to split double teams, the guy gives it his all and could be good value in the 4th.
Round 5, 161st Pick: Danny Gray WR, SMU
Nothing wrong with double dipping at a position, especially when we take a look at the Saints wide receiver room. Gray brings speed, hands, and elusiveness to the table. He would immediately be competing for the 5th wide receiver job and could make an immediate impact.
Round 6, Pick 194th: Jake Ferguson TE, Wisconsin
Last but not least, let’s grab a tight end. Ferguson does have some potential in the NFL, while not a great run blocker he certainly showed off his pass catching skills during the senior bowl. He could come in and certainly make an impact.