It’s Christmas in April.
Where are the Saints picking?
The Black & Gold will have eight selections in the 2023 Draft, including a first rounder that they received in the trade for Sean Payton earlier this year.
New Orleans holds the following selections (for now):
Round 1 • Pick 29
Round 2 • Pick 40
Round 3 • Pick 71
Round 4 • Pick 115
Round 5 • Pick 146
Round 5 • Pick 165
Round 7 • Pick 227
Round 7 • Pick 257 (Compensatory)
What do the Saints need?
The Saints don’t necessarily have a NEED per say. But I believe that they have positions that they’d like to attack. Here are some of the position groups to watch:
Whether it’s an edge rusher or interior defensive lineman, New Orleans will probably be looking to bolster that group in the Draft with David Onyemata and Shy Tuttle moving on. You got Nathan Shepherd and Khalen Saunders in free agency, but you can never have too much in the trenches, especially with Cam Jordan nearing retirement.
Look for guys like Myles Murphy (Clemson), Lukas Van Ness (Iowa), and BJ Ojulari (LSU) to be just a few of the names on the Saints’ radar.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
This is a position that I would really like to see the Saints go after.
Michael Thomas is on track to be back, but it’s getting harder to trust his availability for the Saints. Chris Olave and Rashid Shaheed had breakout rookie seasons, but are they enough to lead you?
Also, Juwan Johnson had his coming out party for the Saints in 2022 at tight end. It’s clear that the Adam Trautman project just isn’t working out, so I could see the Saints get a second piece here as well.
Look for guys like Jaxon Smith-Ngiba (LOVE the Buckeyes players), Zay Flowers (Boston College), A.T. Perry (Wake Forest), and Cedric Tillman (Tennessee) for wide receivers, with Dalton Kincaid (Utah), Michael Mayer (Notre Dame), and Darnell Washington (Georgia) being the tight ends to watch.
This is a similar scenario to the defensive line. There is no such things as enough depth. I see the Saints going with the offensive line in the second round at pick 40, taking O’Cyrus Torrence out of Florida if he’s still there. Otherwise, I think New Orleans goes to its backup plan. The good thing is that the Saints aren’t desperate on the O-Line and could go without drafting any lineman in this draft.
Running back is the last position I think the Saints will emphasize in the later rounds. You still have Alvin Kamara, although you don’t know if he’ll be suspended or for how long. You also acquired Jamaal Williams this off-season, so you have a good 1-2 punch.
However, the Saints will need depth behind it now that Mark Ingram has moved on. I like Zach Charbonnet (UCLA) and Tyjae Spears (Tulane) as candidates for New Orleans as a third string running back in the Saints offense.
How do I watch the Draft?
Round 1 coverage will be Thursday, April 27 beginning at 8:00 pm ET on ESPN, ABC, and the NFL Network.
Rounds 2-3 will be Friday, April 28 beginning at 8:00 pm. ET on ESPN, ABC, and the NFL Network.
Rounds 4-7 will be Saturday, April 29 beginning at noon ET on ESPN and the NFL Network.
DraftKings Odds for first Saints pick
Defensive Line/EDGE -200
Offensive Line +250
Tight End +750
Wide Receiver +1000
Running Back +2200
Kicker/Punter/Long Snapper +20000
Draft Previews from CSC
For more NFL Draft odds and futures, visit our friends at DraftKings Sportsbook.
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