Ty Anania’s Seven Round Mock Draft 2.0

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Mar 28, 2017; Phoenix, AZ, USA; New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton at the NFL Annual Meetings at the Biltmore Resort. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 28, 2017; Phoenix, AZ, USA; New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton at the NFL Annual Meetings at the Biltmore Resort. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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Oct 22, 2016; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; LSU Tigers linebacker Duke Riley (40) celebrates as Mississippi Rebels quarterback Chad Kelly (10) looks on following a defensive stop during the second half of a game at Tiger Stadium. LSU defeated Mississippi 38-21. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 22, 2016; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; LSU Tigers linebacker Duke Riley (40) celebrates as Mississippi Rebels quarterback Chad Kelly (10) looks on following a defensive stop during the second half of a game at Tiger Stadium. LSU defeated Mississippi 38-21. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports /

Duke Riley, LB

Possibly the biggest stretch of this mock draft. Riley will likely not be available to the Saints in the 5th round.

But I couldn’t pass on the chance to land the Saints an LSU prospect, and with OLB still unaddressed (though the position is more of a want than a need), the fit seemed too good.

Riley could serve as the cover linebacker that the Saints have lacked for years. He doesn’t have the size or strength for a pure 3-down LB, but has fluid hips and solid speed to stick tight in coverage against TEs and RBs. That could be a valuable asset for the Saints, who’ve struggled to cover TEs for oh so long. Kenny Vaccaro is getting better at the task, but he’s still inadequate.

The knock on Riley is his late development at LSU and his lack of size. That could potentially slide him down to the fifth round. If it does, the Saints could get a steal of a prospect, able to add speed and vision to their linebacker corps.

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