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Saints take LSU WR Brian Thomas Jr. in Mel Kiper’s Round 1 mock draft

Thomas stays in Louisiana with Kiper’s newest mock.

Texas A&M v LSU Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

ESPN’s Mel Kiper has released his newest Round 1 mock draft of the year and has the New Orleans Saints selecting LSU wide receiver Brian Thomas Jr. with the 14th pick of the NFL Draft.

Thomas is a 6’4 205 205-pound receiver from Walker, Louisiana. In Thomas’ most recent season at LSU, he pulled in 68 receptions for 1,188 yards and led all of FBS with 17 touchdown receptions.

The Saints currently only have two receivers on their roster heading into 2024, Chris Olave and A.T. Perry. All-Pro returner Rashid Shaheed is expected to be back with New Orleans next year as he is an exclusive restricted free agent, but veteran wide receiver Michael Thomas is likely gone. The addition of Brian Thomas Jr. gives the Saints more depth at a position where they are lacking.

Thomas is a big-body receiver but often plays smaller than his size. He has over-the-top speed and is exceptional at tracking the ball deep. However, Thomas’ 6’4 frame is not utilized enough in his game. The standout receiver struggles to fight through contact for contested catches and relies more on his speed to win over his size.

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