The New Orleans Saints continue to be a hot topic in the NFL mock draft community as the 2013 NFL draft approaches. The Saints are an intriguing and difficult team to figure out because Sean Payton and Co. could choose to address the offensive tackle position, linebacker or more.
Sports Illustrated’s Don Banks, one of the most respected names in the NFL draft community, has released an updated mock that has the Saints choosing former Georgia outside linebacker Jarvis Jones.
The Saints have plenty of solid options in this slot: a pass rusher like Jones to help the transition to a 3-4 defense under Rob Ryan; the top-rated safety in Texas playmaker Kenny Vaccaro; or the draft’s next-best left tackle prospect in Florida State’s Menelik Watson. But pass rushers are more difficult to find than safeties and offensive tackles, so Jones gets the nod based on value.
Banks’ selection is not all that surprising, especially with Barkevious Mingo, Luke Joeckel and Eric Fisher off the board. As Banks notes, offensive tackle is still a huge need for the team, but it would be a reach at No. 15 overall to select Menelik Watson.
At this point, Jones is arguably the best overall player left on the board, although you could debate Kenny Vaccaro as well.
Jones is a dynamic talent that appears to have his injury history finally in his past, meaning he would be an every-down player in Rob Ryan’s 3-4 defense.
The pick makes sense in that Jones would be an upgrade at either linebacker spot for the Saints, but the team would have to find a starting-caliber offensive tackle via free agency, because there will not be one available when the Saints pick again in the third round.
Make sure you take a peek at our official scouting report of Jarvis Jones, and let us know how you feel about the selection in the comments section below! Also, shoot us your thoughts on Twitter @whodatdish and Like us on Facebook.