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Saints Mock Draft: 5 first-round targets for New Orleans

New Orleans Saints (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
New Orleans Saints (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
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New Orleans Saints
Ikem Ekwonu – Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports /

Saints First-Round Targets

Ikem Ekwonu, OL (North Carolina State)

See there are other prospects out there aside from Ohio State wide receivers and this next entry proves just that.

The Saints have shown in previous drafts that they won’t shy away from taking an offensive lineman in the first round even if the need doesn’t seem that strong. They took Cesar Ruiz in round one just two years ago and he’s been a starter at right guard (and sometimes center) ever since. It was also a bit of a surprise when they took Ryan Ramczyk in the first round back in 2017 but I’d say that’s been a solid pick.

This team values offensive linemen more than most of the teams in the league and it’s why they’ll pass on positions of stronger needs in order to land an offensive lineman they think will fit in well with what they do.

Ikem Ekwonu would be a good pick by the Saints because of the versatility he’d offer. He’s currently playing left tackle for the Wolf Pack and NOLA could very well part ways with Terron Armstead following the 2021 season due to his age and injury history.

Ekwonu could be an option to replace Armstead at left tackle, or, the Saints could slide him inside to one of the two guard spots (likely left guard). Andrus Peat is signed through 2024 (oof) but the Saints shouldn’t continue to roll with him there if he’s not going to produce at a high level.