The 2023 NFL Draft Combine will begin on Tuesday, February 28th and run through Monday, March 6th. As the combine gets closer and closer, here are six prospects that the New Orleans Saints and Saints fans should watch out for during the week.
It should be noted that none of these players are known to have accepted their draft invitations, but it is confirmed that each player on this list has been invited to participate.
- Bijan Robinson - RB, Texas
There’s been a lot of buzz surrounding the need to beef up the running back room especially after news of Alvin Kamara’s court date. Going into the combine, Robinson is the clear top running back prospect, but is he worth a first round pick? The combine might give the Saints a better look into his athleticism and first-round potential.
If the Saints want an elite running back without spending a first-round pick, Jahmyr Gibbs or Zach Charbonnet might be good options at pick no. 40 that should draw attention at the combine.
Bijan Robinson’s balance is something ELSE— NFL Rookie Watch (@NFLRookieWatxh) February 20, 2023
The Texas RB led all of college football in forced missed tackles last season with 104.
One of the best RB prospects the NFL Draft has seen in a WHILE. pic.twitter.com/OFpGhp2E4W
2. Hendon Hooker - QB, Tennessee
Regardless of the ongoing Derek Carr situation, the Saints should consider drafting a quarterback. Without a high first round pick, a prospect like Hooker could be perfect. His draft projection is highly debated with some analysts suggesting early-second to some saying late-third or later.
If the Tennessee Vol can produce some eye-opening numbers at the combine, he might be worth a second-round pick.
3. Siaki Ika - DL, Baylor
PFF lists defensive line as the Saints’ biggest need, and Ika might be the best option available at pick number 29 or 40. In fact PFF predicts that Ika will be drafted by the Saints at pick number 40. This could be an excellent option for Loomis, making his combine performance very high stakes for the former Baylor Bear.
With the first step Siaki Ika has, paired with his strength he is going to be a nightmare to defend. Worthy of a late first round pick— Marissa Myers (@Marissa_M27) February 11, 2023
4. Mazi Smith - DL, Michigan
A similar prospect to Ika, Smith could be an excellent option at pick number 40. He’s currently predicted to be a mid-to-late-second-round option, but an impressive combine could drastically raise his stock. He had a very impressive career at Michigan, and he deserves a look at the combine. Ika could be taken prior to pick number 40, leaving Smith as the (currently) next best option.
5. Emmanuel Forbes - CB, Mississippi State
PFF lists the cornerback position as the Saints’ second-highest need. Although the CB room is currently led by Marshon Lattimore and Alontae Taylor, adding another cornerback would not hurt. Forbes is a great option at pick number 40. He’s currently predicted to be an early-second rounder, so he might be gone well before pick 40.
If Forbes is taken, another great option to watch at the combine is Miami’s Tyrique Stevenson, who is currently projected to be a mid-to-late-second rounder.
#Giants had a NFL worst 7 INTs & 27th ranked pass def in '22.— Jared Tokarz (@JaredNFLDraft) February 9, 2023
With pick 25, & a deep CB class, Ball Hawk Miss St. CB Emmanuel Forbes seems like a match made in heaven.
6'0 180lbs, Forbes tallied 6 INTs in '22 & an insane 6 INTs for TD (record)pic.twitter.com/i0KEp5ipIc
6. O’Cyrus Torrence - OL, Florida
Because Mickey Loomis is obsessed with drafting offensive linemen in the first round, Torrence could very well be a Who Dat next season. He’s the highest-rated OG in this draft class, and if the Saints feel the need to bulk up the line for their mystery quarterback, Torrence could be a great option. His performance in the combine should be an interesting indicator for his stock in April.
What position should the Saints target with pick number 29?
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