Saints mock draft: NOLA prepares for life without Michael Thomas

Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /
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New Orleans Saints
Jeremy Ruckert (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

Tight End. Buckeyes . Jeremy Ruckert. 119. player. 812.

Round 4: Pick 118 – Jeremy Ruckert, TE (Ohio State)

College tight ends are interesting because you look at some of their stats — like Jeremy Ruckert’s, for instance — and think “He wasn’t so great,” but there’s so much more that goes into being a starting-caliber tight end. Can you catch? Can you block? Can you get open in key moments?

Ruckert is someone I’d love to see New Orleans draft and if he’s still sitting in the fourth round, that’d be a downright steal. His numbers in 2021 weren’t astounding, as he caught 26 receptions for 309 yards and three touchdowns. But, again, tight ends are a position where you can’t focus solely on the stats.

With how much Ohio State likes to run the ball, it’s not a surprise that Ruckert was asked to block quite a bit for that offense. He also had to compete with the likes of Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson for targets whenever he did get a chance to go out there and make a play.

The Saints have Adam Trautman under contract for two more years and Nick Vannett is signed through this year, so adding another tight end makes sense. Ruckert could easily slide in and become the starting tight end during the course of the season.