2016 NFL Draft: 7 players for the New Orleans Saints to target in each round

jakewhite
Jan 1, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker Reggie Ragland (19) reacts in the fourth quarter against the Ohio State Buckeyes in the 2015 Sugar Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 1, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker Reggie Ragland (19) reacts in the fourth quarter against the Ohio State Buckeyes in the 2015 Sugar Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports /
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Matt Ioannidis
Jan 26, 2016; Mobile, AL, USA; North squad defensive tackle Matt Ioannidis of Temple (90) tries to stop running back Tyler Ervin of San Jose State (7) during Senior Bowl practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Glenn Andrews-USA TODAY Sports /

Round 4, Pick 112

Matt Ioannidis, DT, Temple
6-foot-3, 299 LBS

Ioannidis is probably one of the strongest players in this draft and I could make the case that he is the most underrated.  He takes on double teams and stands his ground.  Most teams try to run the ball away from him, yet he runs them down.  He disrupts plays by getting into the backfield and constantly battles until the whistle blows.

Connor McGovern, Guard, Missouri
6-foot-4, 306 LBS

Not only is he a guard, but McGovern has played both tackle positions as well.  It’s always a plus to have a player who can play multiple positions just in case injury occurs. McGovern is a powerful, athletic guard who could show his athleticism on screen plays, which the Saints like to run.  Keeping Drew Brees protected is one of the biggest concerns going into the draft, and McGovern could be exactly what the Saints’ offense needs.

Miles Killebrew, S/WLB, Southern Utah
6-foot-2, 217 LBS

There aren’t too many hybrid safety/linebackers in this year’s draft, but Killebrew is one of them.  He is a very aggressive tackler and when he hits somebody, you can hear it.  Coming from a smaller school, it could take him time to get used to the NFL speed, but I think over time, he will adapt and be a player to watch for in the league.  His coverage skills are average, but his tackling skills are what sets him apart from most of the other prospects.

Rashard Higgins, WR, Colorado State
6-foot-1, 196 LBS

Higgins is one of the most productive receivers in this year’s draft and played exceptionally well with New Orleans Saints backup Garrett Grayson as his quarterback.  Higgins is known more for his hands than his speed.  He finished his college career with 3,649 receiving yards and 31 touchdowns, so he definitely isn’t a one-hit wonder.  In the Saints’ offense, Higgins could thrive and be a favorite target of Drew Brees.

Maliek Collins, DT, Nebraska
6-foot-2, 311 LBS

Collins is another one of those defensive tackles who is getting lost in the mix due to the depth. His talent makes him seem more like a third-round round pick, but because of the depth, he could easily fall to the fourth round and be there for the Saints.  He’s explosive and quick off the ball but doesn’t flash like most of the other defensive tackles in this draft.

Jaylon Smith, LB, Notre Dame
6-foot-2, 223 LBS

Smith would have most likely been a top-5 pick in the draft if it weren’t for his knee injury.  After his medical re-check he was told he wouldn’t be able to play this year, and he may never be able to play again, or at least never be the player he once was.  However, I think a fourth-round snag is worth the risk.  Sure, he could never play one down in the NFL and the Saints just wasted a pick, but if he does get back to his vintage self, then New Orleans’ defense would have a bright future.  When healthy, Smith can cover, rush the passer, be a sure tackler, and be instinctive. I think he is worth the risk in round four.

Kentrell Brothers, ILB, Missouri
6-foot, 245 LBS

Brothers plays the game well.  When I say that I’m talking about he understands his job and he gets it done. He is a smaller linebacker, but he doesn’t shy away from contact.  One of the most sure tacklers in this draft, I think he could be an excellent backup to James Laurinaitis and could end up giving him a run for his money for that starting spot.

Next: Round 5

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