New Orleans Saints 2016 mock draft, post-Senior Bowl edition

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Oct 3, 2015; Gainesville, FL, USA; Mississippi Rebels quarterback Chad Kelly (10) drops back as Florida Gators defensive lineman Jonathan Bullard (90) rushes during the first half at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 3, 2015; Gainesville, FL, USA; Mississippi Rebels quarterback Chad Kelly (10) drops back as Florida Gators defensive lineman Jonathan Bullard (90) rushes during the first half at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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The New Orleans Saints address the voids on defense while improving some other positions in this post-Senior Bowl mock draft.

NFL Draft
May 8, 2014; New York, NY, USA; Brandin Cooks (Oregon State) walks to the stage after being selected as the number twenty overall pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft to the New Orleans Saints at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports /

After turning in another losing season and three in the past four years, the New Orleans Saints without question have some adjustments to make, particularly on the defensive side of the ball.

They have a star quarterback in Drew Brees, who can still deliver at an elite level.  He proved that in 2015 after leading the league in passing for an NFL-record sixth time at the age of 36 (now 37).  There is still hope before one of the all-time greats calls it a career.

Sean Payton and company just need some balance to accommodate that high-powered offense, and advancing efforts on defense could do the trick.  The 2015 Saints were a developing group brimming with unproven talent and a recent history of bad draft picks and misses in the free agent market.  And it doesn’t get any more true than that, despite whether or not you want to believe it.

2016 will be a new year and a fresh start.  Many guys will grow over the offseason.  They’ll learn new things while improving the stuff they already know.  That’s the beauty of the game.  The point is to get better as you gain more experience.  It happens every year.

And with the 2016 NFL Draft approaching, the Saints will get another chance to rack up on some young talent blessed with the athletic abilities and potential to thrive at the next level.  Last year’s draft is proving to be a success, and they’ll hope to carry that momentum over into this year’s selection process with help from assistant general manager/college scouting director Jeff Ireland.

The incoming rookie class is crowded with promising talent, and with the Senior Bowl now in the rear view, we’re beginning to see who’s really standing out.  Next up on the agenda is the NFL Scouting Combine, which will be held at the end of the month in Indianapolis.

With that being said, I give you my post-Senior Bowl edition mock draft, my second of several simulated assessments for the upcoming selection process.  With a top offense still residing down on the bayou, the New Orleans Saints go heavy on defense in an attempt to resurrect a once-feared organization…

Next: Round 1, Pick 12: Risky Business

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