Saints mock draft: Dennis Allen era begins with first-round stud

New Orleans Saints (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
New Orleans Saints (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /
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New Orleans Saints
Ikem Ekwonu (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

This New Orleans Saints mock draft has the team fixating on the offensive side of the ball in the first three rounds. We did four rounds in total, using Pro Football Network’s draft simulator. 

For the Saints, getting help on the offensive side of the ball is the biggest need this offseason. Quarterback, wide receiver, tight end, and offensive line all need to be addressed between now and the start of the 2022 season and that’s why NOLA fixates on three of those five areas in this mock draft.

Dennis Allen was hired to succeed Sean Payton as the head coach of the Saints. Despite being a defensive guy, Allen is the right hire for this team and hopefully, he can get the team back into the playoffs in 2022.

This was the first mock draft I conducted since Allen was named head coach. As tempting as it is for him to go after some top-notch defensive prospects, he stays on track and adds some offensive talent to get this team headed in the right direction.

Let’s dive right in and see who joins the black and gold in the latest mock draft.

Round 1: Pick 23 – Ikem Ekwonu, OT (North Carolina State)

The Cardinals wanted the No. 18 pick so that they could take Kaiir Elam of Florida State. In return, the Saints moved back five spots and also acquired a 2023 third-rounder from Arizona.

Even after moving back five spots, the Saints were still able to land their franchise left tackle in Ikem Ekwonu of North Carolina State. With Terron Armstead potentially leaving in free agency, New Orleans would be wise to address the left tackle vacancy and Ekwonu is one of the best prospects in this class.

Joe Marino of The Draft Network mentioned in Ekwonu’s draft profile that the Wolfpack product has some work to do but he absolutely projects as a starting left tackle. Marino also mentions that by year three, Ekwonu could be a Pro Bowl-caliber tackle.

Adding Ekwonu means the Saints don’t have to worry about losing Armstead. Their offensive line would continue to be one of the best in the league if they were indeed able to add this guy. Oh and even better — They moved back AND acquired an extra pick for 2023’s draft!