With the 229th pick, the New Orleans Saints select…
Tarik Cohen — North Carolina A&T, Running Back
Two years in a row, the Saints have spent a seventh-round pick on a running back. Two years ago it was Marcus Murphy, the return man, who will likely find himself off the roster come season time. Last year, it was Daniel Lasco, who injuries kept largely off the sideline in 2016 but who could very easily find a role in this Saints offense. Lasco’s spot on the roster is somewhat secure as he remains the team’s best gunner.
Well, make it three. Even with Adrian Peterson, the Saints are in need of a receiving, satellite back to play on third-downs and to change pace.
Tarik Cohen is undersized. He isn’t much of a threat at all as a between-the-tackles runner. But he’s got excellent speed and is agile enough to make tacklers miss. He can’t run routes like McCaffrey, but who can? He’d be an upgrade over Travaris Cadet. I’ll say that much.
The Saints don’t necessarily need a running threat to play that satellite back role. It would keep the defense more honest, but they may not be able to afford finding a player of that caliber outside of McCaffrey.
Tarik Cohen isn’t about to be the next Darren Sproles. But an upgrade over Cadet is an upgrade I’ll take any day.
And there you have it. The Saints spend their first five picks on defense, and leave offense for the 6th and 7th rounds. As I mentioned earlier, they are a BPA team and will handle the draft with that attitude. But this is a deep defensive draft. And I expect the board will fall somewhere along these lines.