Jan 2, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker C.J. Mosley (32) runs toward Oklahoma Sooners ball carrier during the second half of the Sugar Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
The NFL Draft is right around the corner, and we’re about to find out how accurate the hundreds of mock drafts you have previously read are, and which ones we can just laugh about.
I bring you some Who Dat Dish staff predictions in their original form, and provide their thoughts on why each player goes to the Saints at #27.
C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama – Andrew Schuster
The 2013 Butkus Award winner (nation’s top linebacker) finished off his senior season with 108 total tackles. It is rare that he misses, and adding him into the equation with Curits Lofton’s tackling ability would be an exceptional move by the Saints. During his four-year career at Alabama, C.J. Mosley totaled 319 tackles (23 for loss), 6.5 sacks, 5 interceptions, 24 passes defended, 2 forced fumbles and 3 defensive touchdowns. With the learning experience and preparation he has gained under Coach Nick Saban, Mosley may be one of the most NFL-ready athletes in the draft.
Jason Verrett, CB, TCU – Federico Ferrari
I stick with my initial idea that the Saints need to grab a cornerback with their first round pick. With Jason Verrett the Saints can complete their secondary. In 37 games for TCU, Verrett had 160 tackles (10 TFL), nine interceptions and 34 pass breakups. He’s constantly after the ball and his aggressivity often leads to turnover, something the Saints defense needs to create next year to be elite. Some of you may be concerned about his size but I believe his skill set will alow him to have good chance to start opposite to Keenan Lewis.
Odell Beckham Jr., WR, LSU – Tina Howell
The New Orleans native has made no it secret he would love to stay “home” and play for the Saints. He definitely has the size, speed and secure hands that would would thrive in a Sean Payton/ Drew Brees offense. Marques Colston has not been as productive as in past seasons and an explosive upgrade at WR is the missing ink that will put the Saints offense back on top.
Ryan Shazier, OLB, Ohio State – Ian Mitchell-Dear
It’s not often that you get to a redo in the NFL Draft one year later but that appears to be the case here with Ryan Shazier. Last year the Saints passed on linebacker Jarvis Jones from Georgia in favor of safety Kenny Vaccaro from Texas. Ryan Shazier plays with the same nastiness as Jarvis Jones did in Georgia. Rob Ryan will love to add that mental toughness and attitude to their pass rush. He can certainly get after the quarterback with a 4.38 40 time. Shazier also can be moved around in the defense as he has seen time at middle linebacker, defensive end, and his position of preference, outside linebacker for the Buckeyes.
According to nfldraftscout.com, Shazier plays with good instincts, an explosive first step, and is the ultimate-team first player. Outside of a lean build and lacking strength to get off some of the elite blockers in the NFL, scouts believe he has the ability to be a productive linebacker along the lines of Tampa Bay’s Lavonte David. Great speed and good instincts are great, but the fact that he is also a scheme-diverse linebacker should get the Saints attention. He is the final piece that the Saints defense needs to be elite this season.
Recent mock drafts have Shazier being selected no earlier that the 20th pick in the first draft and no later than the last pick in the draft. He should be available for the Saints at the 27th pick.
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