Saints Draft

Who Dat Dish Podcast: 2018 Saints mock draft 2.0

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Round 4, Pick 123: Derrick Nnadi, DT, Florida State

The loss of Nick Fairley, and the whiffing of Ndamukong Suh, have exposed the void at defensive tackle in New Orleans. Focus on the front-seven has been apparent for the last few years. Mickey Loomis drafted Jordan 24th overall in the 2012 draft, Sheldon Rankins twelfth overall in 2014, Stephone Anthony in 2015 and the list goes on. In this mock, the first three selections go for that very same section, which needs an overhaul.

Derrick Nnadi doesn’t match the size of an interior defensive lineman, but he uses his size and low center of gravity to attack the ball and beat offensive linemen. At least, he did so in college, against tough ACC competition. He had ten tackles for losses last year along with 3.5 sacks in 13 starts. He’s durable and fits best in a 4-3 scheme, similar to what the Saints currently run.

Nnadi weighs in at 312 pounds, so he’s still forceful at the point of attack. Playing alongside Rankins, Nnadi would be able to beat a lot of one-on-one matchups if Rankins gets double-teamed. He most likely won’t start right away, as he’ll need time to grow into a more “NFL body.” But, with Tyeler Davison and David Onyemata, the defensive tackle position is (sort of) in great shape heading into training camp currently.

But, this Pick is insurance for depth off the bat, with room to grow into more. Nnadi could turn out to thrive as a smaller tackle, with leverage being his best friend. Anything to add a bit of athleticism to an already large and gritty front-4.