Fairley, Nick – DT from Auburn
Fairley to Carolina is still the best projection to make at this point in time, but the Saints are still looking at all players on their board. He was college football’s most dominant defender in 2010, has loads of talent, and will fit perfectly into New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Greg Williams preferred defensive style.
Bowers, DaQuan – DE from Clemson
The Saints are looking at upgrading their pass rush and it’s a major priority for Coach Sean Payton. Bowers would be a possibility if available and Alabama’s Marcell Dareus makes sense, but Fairley’s specialty is wreaking havoc in opposing backfields (24 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks in 2010), and he has the elite tools to become an every-down impact player as an “under” tackle in a four-man front.
Solder, Nate – OT from Colorado
Left Tackle is a need, but the Saints will go for the best players available at pick # 24. Among the other directions the team could go, a high-upside OT like Solder makes sense, as Jermon Bushrod is a free agent and the only dpth behinf him is second year rookie Charles Brown.
Miller,Von – OLB from Texas AM
Rush linebacker is a huge problem in New Orleans. Miller’s stock is still hot after an excellent Senior Bowl, and questions about his size matter somewhat less in the Saints 4-3 scheme, where he can play outside or inside. Bowers would be a good choice here.
Dareus, Marcel – DE from Alabama
Saints defensive coordinator Greg Williams could use a disruptive force like Dareus to fit his 4-3 scheme. Dareus missed two games in 2010 thanks to suspension and was hobbled by an ankle injury for several others, but anyone questioning his ability to penetrate and make plays in opposing backfields clearly did not watch tape of the Crimson Tide’s 2009 national title run.
Amukamara, Prince – CB from Nebraska
The Saints are better served to draft the best defensive lineman available at 24, but no team could pass on a defensive back like Prince.
Smith, Jimmy – CB from Colorado
Many might consider this a reach, and it’s true if you don’t know who Jimmy Smith is. Smith is an outstanding athlete, and has as much potential as Amukamara as a pro. The Saints need dept at corner-back, and may be willing to be patient as they coach a talent like Smith.
Quinn, Robert – DE from North Carolina
Robert Quinn has been slipping as other players finish up the Senior Bowls etc, but his talent as a pass rusher when playing was by far the top of his class. I guess Quinn is experiencing the old saying “out of site, out of mind,” but with a great combine, he will shoot back up into the top ten considerations and if he lives up to his potential, imagine getting a defensive player like Suh of Detroit with this pick.
Liuget, Corey- DT from Illinois
There’s nothing across from Will Smith at defensive end nor in the interior besides Sedrick Ellis, and Liugets stock is hot after an outstanding season for Illinois.
Kerrigan, Ryan – DE from Purdue
There’s a very good chance that Kerrigan will be long gone by the middle of the first round, but this would be an absolutely ideal situation for the Saints, Kerrigan was a monster at the Senior Bowl and the Saints are desperate for help at end. Kerrigan is the epitome of a Greg Willaims selection: talent and character.