Fansided has updated it’s latest(12/24) 2013 Mock NFL Draft and have the New Orleans Saints picking at #15. While the latest draft position has changed, Fansided is still sticking with the player position it had in it’s original mock draft.
Defensive tackle appears to be an area that FS feels is a major need for the Saints. Last time they had the Black and Gold choosing Missouri defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson.
FS has Richardson going at the 13th pick, but now to the Carolina Panthers. They still have the Saints choosing a defensive tackle in the first round but this time Jonathan Hankins of Ohio State.
The Saints need an upgrade at defensive tackle and Hankins is their man. If they continue to lose, which they didn’t do on Sunday, they could be in the running for Star Lotulelei who is the top defensive tackle prospect in the draft. He likely won’t slip past third overall and if he does fifth is the farthest he’d slide before someone traded up for him. Hankins may not be Lotulelei or Sheldon Richardson but he’s far from being merely a consultation prize.
While the Saints are in need of a defensive playmaker in the front seven, I just don’t think Hankins will be their man. If he does come out for the draft as a junior, he is actually ranked a bit higher than Richardson.
I still think the Saints will concentrate on a defensive end for their draft pick if the right one falls that way. L.S.U. defensive end Sam Montgomery would be a popular pick along with some others.
Oregon’s Dion Jordan as well as Texas’ Alex Okafor could still be on the board. There is also another prospect on the defensive end position that could warrant a look as well.
Brigham Young University’s Ezekiel Ansah is gaining some attention as the college season closes. He has played a variety of positions along the defensive line and is being compared to New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, someone the Saints could definitely use.
When Sedrick Ellis departs in the offseason the Saints still have Brodrick Bunkley, Akiem Hicks, Tom Johnson and project Tyrunn Walker waiting in the wings to helm the defensive tackle position
Will Smith is due a big payday next season($9 million base, $14.5 w/bonuses) and his contract will be restructured or he’ll be released. Junior Galette and Turk McBride are also scheduled to be free agents and you never know what will happen in that area.
Either way, the Saints need a defensive end to come in and give the Saints what they have been lacking for several seasons now which is a good edge rusher who can not only get pressure on the quarterback but help rack up numbers in the sack column.