With the 12th Pick: 10 New Orleans Saints first-round NFL Draft prospects

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Oct 3, 2015; Gainesville, FL, USA; Mississippi Rebels defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche (5) looks on prior to the game at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 3, 2015; Gainesville, FL, USA; Mississippi Rebels defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche (5) looks on prior to the game at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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DeForest Buckner
Dec 5, 2014; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Oregon Ducks defensive end DeForest Buckner (44) celebrates after a sack in the second quarter against the Arizona Wildcats in the Pac-12 Championship at Levi /

DeForest Buckner, DL, Oregon

Talk about a massive dude.  At 6-foot-7, 300 pounds (per GoDucks.com), Buckner boats a colossal frame with long arms and broad shoulders.  The New Orleans Saints are lacking at the defensive end position opposite Cam Jordan, while having little proven talent at defensive tackle.  Bucker could help solidify both.

His game is based on more power (very powerful) rather than speed.  He’s a proven pass rusher in the NCAA and an incredible tackler (second on the team), which earned him the title of Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year.  In a scheme like the Saints run, Buckner could add a solid presence blitzing from the edge as a defensive end, while also shifting over to tackle in certain packages to add some speed in the middle alongside Tyeler Davison or John Jenkins.

As one of the top players in this loaded draft class, Buckner is an ideal fit for the Saints, who are in desperate need of beefing up their inadequate pass rush, which could ultimately help out out their secondary.  If he falls to No. 12, it will be hard to pass up his talents.  New Orleans could kill two birds (DE, DT depth) with one stone here and address other needs in the following rounds, possibly saving a late pick on an additional lineman.

Next: Addressing the Weakside

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