New Orleans Saints take A’Shawn Robinson in Mel Kiper’s first mock draft


ESPN’s Mel Kiper released his first NFL mock draft of the year, which has the New Orleans Saints taking Alabama’s A’Shawn Robinson.

It’s that time of the year again, folks. You’re going to see a lot of these mock drafts leading up to the NFL Draft in late April. Here’s what Kiper, who has been a noted draft analyst since 1984, had to say about the Crimson Tide lineman.

"12.) New Orleans Saints – *A’Shawn Robinson, DL, AlabamaThe Saints really need to add another 3-4 defensive end and Robinson fits the bill. In fact, the 6-foot-3, 313-pounder is an immediate starter who combines great awareness and strength to make plays and hold the point in the run game, as well as the ability to push the pocket. There isn’t a place where the Saints can go wrong adding talent on defense."

Unfortunately, the Saints don’t have a 3-4 defense. That would be the first issue with this choice. The list of needs do lie on defense for Dennis Allen’s squad, but an outside linebacker (specifically weak side) would be the team’s immediate need. The team does need an edge rusher, but having a player switch schemes to come in to make impacts off the get go seems a bit far-fetched. Robinson’s combine performance should raise his stock, and he should be a solid fit for a 3-4 team.

Alabama’s Jarran Reed, who was mocked to the Saints by ESPN’s Todd McShay in mid December, went No. 16 overall to the Detroit Lions. As for the top outside linebackers in the draft, UCLA’s Myles Jack went No. 10 to the New York Giants and Notre Dame’s Jaylon Smith fell to No. 20 to the New York Jets,.

Mel Kiper had mocks last year that paired the Saints to Vic Beasley Jr., Dante Fowler, Brandon Scherff, and Randy Gregory/Nelson Agholor. The 2016 NFL Draft is held in Chicago, Illinois again from April 28-30.

You can check out Kiper’s full mock draft on ESPN, but it does need Insider access.