Saints Draft

2017 NFL Draft: New Orleans Saints Best Options at 11

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INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 05: Defensive lineman Haason Reddick of Temple. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 05: Defensive lineman Haason Reddick of Temple. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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Oct 8, 2016; College Station, TX, USA; Tennessee Volunteers defensive end Derek Barnett (9) and Texas A&M Aggies offensive lineman Avery Gennesy (65) in action during the game at Kyle Field. The Aggies defeat the Volunteers 45-38 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 8, 2016; College Station, TX, USA; Tennessee Volunteers defensive end Derek Barnett (9) and Texas A&M Aggies offensive lineman Avery Gennesy (65) in action during the game at Kyle Field. The Aggies defeat the Volunteers 45-38 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee

If you’ve followed me the past month on this site, you know how much of a fan I am of Barnett. The main reason? He is the best edge rusher in this draft, a position the Saints need to address first before all others. New Orleans has been a bottom-3 in the NFL the last 3 seasons in stopping teams on 3rd down.

Barnett would be the perfect fit opposite of Cameron Jordan. Barnett’s biggest knock is his lack of speed, but with Jordan on the other side, speed won’t be needed. A record-breaking 34 career sacks at Tennessee made Barnett a near-impossible stop for SEC offensive lines. His selection would also complete a building base on New Orleans’ defense after Nick Fairley and Sheldon Rankins have played nicely with Jordan on that defensive line.

Next: Thoughts on Adrian Peterson

Barnett is the best option for the Saints. His availability, moves, fit and intelligence are all treasures in the eyes of the Saints. That’s saying a lot, considering the other four prospects are all also wildly talented. No matter what, I would not be disappointed if any of these 5 players are selected 11th overall. You shouldn’t be disappointed either.

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