With football season officially over with the conclusion of Super Bowl 58, it’s time to turn our attention to the upcoming NFL Draft. The New Orleans Saints currently hold picks 14 and 45 in the first two rounds, and PFF just released their first post-Super Bowl two-round mock draft.
Here’s who the experts at Pro Football Focus have the Saints selecting with their first two picks:
Olumuyiwa Fashanu, OT, Penn State
This would be an absolute slam dunk of a pick for the Saints. Fashanu is widely regarded as a top-two tackle in this draft alongside Notre Dame’s Joe Alt, and if it weren’t for some highly touted quarterbacks and receivers, he’d likely be a top 5-10 pick (He still could be, just not in this mock draft).
Fashanu has been Penn State’s starting left tackle for two seasons now and has been one of the best in the business at holding down his QB’s blind side. In his two seasons as a starter, he’s posted elite 84.7 and 88.4 pass blocking grades.
The Saints tackle situation is quite shaky. Trevor Penning is still a work in progress at left tackle and who knows if he’ll ever be ready to start. On the other side, Ryan Ramcyzk’s future is in the air as well as he continuously battles through injuries.
Adding an offensive tackle early in this draft makes too much sense for the Saints, and if Fashanu is sitting there at 14, they should sprint to the podium to select him.
Chris Braswell, Edge, Alabama
Dallas Turner is going to be the talk of the town when it comes to Alabama edge rushers in this draft, but Chris Braswell is another very talented edge coming out of Tuscaloosa.
In 2023, Braswell posted 56 pressures, 33 hurries, 12 stops and eight sacks while earning an 87.9 pass rush grade.
Edge rusher is another big need for the Saints this offseason. Payton Turner continues to be injury prone; Cam Jordan is regressing (it pains me to say it, but it’s true) and Isaiah Foskey didn’t show much in limited action. Outside of Carl Granderson, the Saints don’t have an edge rusher who can come in and get consistent pressure on the QB.
In this mock, Bralen Trice is still on the board at 45, and I think I’d go with Trice over Braswell, but both are terrific players who could come in and help this team pretty quickly.