10 players the New Orleans Saints must target in the 2016 NFL Draft

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Nov 22, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Tulsa Golden Hurricane wide receiver Keyarris Garrett (1) makes a reception during the second quarter against the Houston Cougars at TDECU Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 22, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Tulsa Golden Hurricane wide receiver Keyarris Garrett (1) makes a reception during the second quarter against the Houston Cougars at TDECU Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /
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Denver Kirkland
Nov 22, 2014; Fayetteville, AR, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks offensive lineman Denver Kirkland (55) during the game against the Ole Miss Rebels at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Arkansas defeated Mississippi 30-0. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports /

Target: Denver Kirkland
School: Arkansas
Position: Guard
Size: 6-foot-5, 340 LBS
Projected Round: 4-5

Again, with Jahri Evans’ decline at right guard and a void on the left side after Tim Lelito proved he is not consistent enough to be a true starter, the New Orleans Saints are in need of a player who could come in and make a difference, assuming they don’t address it in free agency or early on in the draft.

Starting off at guard but making the transition to tackle in 2015 on one of the most tantalizing offensive lines in college football, Denver Kirkland will likely be asked to move back to guard in the NFL.

His lack of fluidity and quickness on his feet make him more suited for the inside where athleticism isn’t a major necessity — the Saints already have that in tackle Terron Armstead.

Kirkland boasts excellent size, however, he lacks consistency in both power and balance and did not participate at the Senior Bowl, which is why he couls slide down the draft board to the mid to late rounds.  A strong combine could save him.  He’ll be a project in development, but he has the potential to become a great blocker in the NFL sooner rather than later.

Next: 2016 NFL Free Agency: 10 Players the Saints Should Target

Kirkland’s ceiling is very high, and we haven’t seen his best.  With the right coaching and a spot open at left guard in between Armstead and Max Unger, the kid could flourish.  He’s one of my favorite guard prospects and the Saints could get a real steal here.

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