As we grow closer to the 2021 NFL Draft, we will start to analyze the options the Saints have at the picks they have in each round in our Saints’ Draft Prospects.
This is our first analysis of a later round draft pick. According to a mock draft done by Trevor Sikkema of The Draft Network, he has the Saints drafting Ohio State linebacker Baron Browning in the third round with the No. 98 overall pick.
As we have stated before, the 2020 college season might not be the best sample statistics to go off of. With an Ohio State Buckeye, it might be even worse because of how late the Big Ten decided to play, Browning only started seven games this season.
It is also no secret that the Saints have a need for a linebacker. However, that need might not be so high that they go after a linebacker in the first round which means they need to find starter worthy value in the later rounds in the draft.
This would also be valuable depending on if they keep Kwon Alexander or if they don’t. After he tore his Achilles’ Tendon last year, there really isn’t any dependency that you can have so if you keep him getting Browning might be the best move.
In 2019, Browning’s last full season of over ten games, he recorded 43 tackles (11.0 of which were for a loss) and 5.0 sacks. Granted, Browning was on one of the best college defenses that there was in 2019 making it to the college playoffs.
According to Kevin Flaherty from 247Sports, His former Ohio State coach Al Washington had this to say about his linebacker.
“At a high level he has played in space, in the box, blitzed inside|outside, rushed the passer and covered man to man,” Washington tweeted in response to the clip. “You ask him to do the job and he will do the job. Character through the roof and the ultimate team player. One of most versatile LBs in draft.”
The Saints could also use developing a linebacker for the future. In the last couple of years, the linebacker position has been weak. This would be a big step toward turning around that weakness and make it a strong point in the future.