ESPN’s Mel Kiper has released his final 2013 NFL mock draft, and he actually has the New Orleans Saints making a smart move this time rather than a controversial one.
If you’ll remember, in his last edition of his mock, Kiper had the Saints selecting Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o for about not reason in particular rather than to stir up controversy.
It seems the final Kiper mock actually follows logic.
That, or it just follows what everyone else is saying. Like many others, Kiper has the Saints using the No. 15 overall pick on Georgia LB Jarvis Jones. His explanation for the pick:
Analysis: The Saints are shifting to a 3-4, but are going to lack the ability to consistently apply pressure from the outside linebacker position unless they find one in the draft. In steps Jones, who applied pressure more consistently than any player in the country last year, and against great competition. Jones is relentless in his pursuit, doesn’t quit on plays and shows good leverage against the run. Hard to do a lot better at this spot on the board.
Kiper has something here. As we mentioned many times before, the new defense under Rob Ryan lacks proven pass-rushers. While Junior Galette, Martez Wilson and others could flourish in the new role, it certainly does not hurt to add an elite prospect to the mix.
Jarvis Jones is that elite prospect. There is a chance he may be around when the Saints pick, and if he is, there’s a good shot he is likely the best player available.
Taking Jones ignores an obvious need on the offensive line, and even in the defensive secondary. That being said, those two positions are extremely deep this year. The same cannot be said for pass-rushing talent.
All in all, this is a great pick by Kiper, even if it does simply echo the choice made by others. If Jarvis Jones ends up in New Orleans, Saints fans are going to be one happy group of people for years to come.