This is an odd one. In a recent 2020 NFL Mock Draft by USA Today, the New Orleans Saints selected Wisconsin RB Jonathan Taylor.
On April 23, 2020, the New Orleans Saints will be on the clock at some point during the evening, barring any trade, with the No. 24 pick in the NFL Draft. They have several holes to fill that include much-needed improvements at cornerback and wide receiver.
Offensive line and linebacker are two other positions that the team could use their first-round pick to solidify. However, according to a recently released mock draft from USA Today, the team opts to not fill any of those options with their top pick in the draft.
Nate Davis, the columnist behind the draft, explained his reasoning for having the Saints drafted standout Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor, likely the only RB that’ll be drafted in the first round.
"In three years with the Badgers, he averaged more than 2,000 rushing yards per season. Then he flashed at the combine, blazing the fastest 40 (4.39 seconds) for any back and displaying nice receiving skills. Alvin Kamara is only under contract through 2020 and didn’t fare well as a lead back in 2019. Teaming him with Taylor, though, might be another way to help QB Drew Brees make one more run at another Super Bowl."
There no reason to completely disagree with this selection. It could happen.
However, while Alvin Kamara could certainly also be a holdout candidate entering the last season of his rookie deal, I would think it’d be more concerning for the team to fill other holes than find a backup for starting back that has reached the Pro Bowl in each of his first three seasons.
Given that their current backup, Latavius Murray, is still under contract for the next few seasons and has been spectacular when operating as the lead back, bringing in another presence for Murray to get even fewer touches seems less than ideal.
Also, with Eli Apple most likely on his way out and the team’s receiving corp severely lacking, there are several other ways this draft should go for New Orleans.
That said, Taylor, who put up two straight 2,000-yard seasons, is a terrific running back and has a stellar future ahead of him, but if he starts his career in the Big Easy, some fans may not be less than thrilled.