Round 3, Pick 91: Jeff Holland, Edge, Auburn
A lot of you were confused (some angry) that I did not include an edge rusher or defensive end in my mock draft 1.0. Rightfully so, seeing as it is the biggest need for New Orleans both in depth, and immediate impact. So, for 2.0, the top two selections of the Saints go to that very position.
At the 91st slot in this mock, New Orleans goes with a tough and savvy edge rusher out of the SEC. Jeff Holland played three years for the Tigers, backing up future NFL fourth round pick, Carl Lawson, during his sophomore season. For his junior and final year, Holland finished second in the amazing SEC with nine sacks. He was also tied for second in forced fumbles with three, as Holland was all over the place in 2017. The SEC awarded him for his efforts with a first-team honorable mention.
Holland is three inches smaller than Hubbard, so the prototype physique isn’t quite there. The good thing, though, is that Holland was essentially trained as a pass rusher in college. It’s hard to find guys who worked so hard during games to get to quarterbacks consistently, and Holland is one of them. He uses his high football IQ for impressive moves on linemen, helping make up for his lack of size.
Again, New Orleans will be faced with options at this spot. Do they trade up to secure a potential-starter in the second round? Or, do they go the opposite way and trade back in the draft to acquire more selections for more help? If they stay put, Holland, much like Frank Ragnow, would be a solid selection to help fill in a problem area on the Saints. Having Hubbard and Holland come in with a (hopefully) healthy Okafor, there won’t be any excuse for not finding Jordan some help in the pass rush and tackling department.