It’s time for the final New Orleans Saints mock draft now that Commissioner Roger Goodell is ready to walk to the podium and kick things off in a little over 24 hours.
For the Saints, things have been in a constant flux the entire offseason. Offensive tackle and literally every position on the revamped 3-4 unit is up for a potential upgrade in the draft.
With Darrelle Revis being shipped from the New York Jets to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the chances Saints running back Chris Ivory is traded to New York dramatically increase. For the purposes of this mock, we’ll ignore that chance simply to prevent confusion. There are going to be a plethora of trades exclusive to the first round, so adding trades in the fourth-to-fifth rounds is overkill.
Below you will find how we think the Saints will act with every one of its original picks. The mock is based on team needs as well as value on the board.
Let’s take a look.
First round (No. 15 overall) — Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
The writing is beginning to solidify with this pick. If things go as we think they will, the Saints will have a shot at one of the best pure pass-rusher available in this year’s draft.
There’s no doubt Jarvis Jones will be one of the best players available when the Saints pick. When you have as many holes as the Saints do, you go best player avaialble no matter what.
The pass-rushing situation in Rob Ryan’s new 3-4 is a bit murky right now with names like Junior Galette and Martez Wilson. That problem will be solved rather quickly with the addition of Jones.
Third round (No. 75) —D.J. Swearinger, S, South Carolina
There is a chance D.J. Swearinger makes it to the Saints third-r0und pick. If he does, the Saints would be foolish to pass on him.
Right now the starting tandem at safety is Roman Harper and Malcom Jenkins. The former is likely on his way out after next season, so having a talented rooking such as Swearinger ride the pine and develop for a season is a smart move. Not to mention he can contribute heavily on special teams.
Swearinger is is known for his physical play and versatility. Considering the free and strong safety positions are essentially merging into one, having a player who can bounce between both just as Jenkins can is a solid tactic.
Fourth round (No. 109) – Sanders Commings, CB, Georgia
The addition of a No. 1 corner in Keenan Lewis this offseason does not completely remedy the issue at the position. Jabari Greer is aging and has a ridiculous contract. Patrick Robinson was the weak link on the worst statistical defensive unit in NFL history.
In other words, cornerback is a major need.
Luckily for the Saints, Sanders Commings has been flying under-the-radar throughout this entire draft process. He’s a massive corner who excels strictly in man coverage—exactly what Rob Ryan will be using. While playing to Commings’ strengths, the Saints may be able to find a starter mid-way through the season here in the fourth round.
Fifth round (No. 144) — Reid Fragel, OT, Ohio State
If there is one thing Sean Payton and Co. are known for, it’s finding late-round gems at the offensive tackle position who can develop into starters.
Look no further than Reid Fragel—he’s all but a lock to the Saints because he fits the description perfectly.
Fragel spent most of his football career playing tight end, but made the transition to offensive tackle and has not looked back. He is still a very raw prospect, but played well and managed to hold on to a starting gig during his time at Ohio State. Given the right coaching, Fragel could be a Pro-Bowler in a few years.
Sixth round (No. 183) — Denard Robinson, WR, Michigan
This late in the draft, you either want to find a hidden gem who could develop or a boom-or-bust type player.
File Denard Robinson under the second description.
With Devery Henderson gone, it’s up to Joseph Morgan to fill the void as the explosive slot receiver. It can’t hurt to add some insurance on the chance he falters, and you can’t do much better than Robinson at this point in the draft.
Robinson is an elite athlete who is almost untouchable when he gets in open space. He’ll also be good for a gadget-trick play every now and then. Not a bad value for a talent who could flourish catching passes from Drew Brees.