1. Charles Cross
New Orleans’ only way to land Charles Cross would be to spend a first-round pick on him, but it’d be well worth it. Cross, a starter at Mississippi State over the past two years, is one of the best offensive tackle prospects in the draft so NOLA has to hope for a miracle in order for him to drop to them at pick No. 18.
The Draft Network projects Cross’ ideal role in the NFL as a starting left tackle and said that he should be able to match up well against some of the best EDGE rushers in the league. It’s hard to find a franchise left tackle — that’s why the position gets paid so well in free agency — but if the Saints can find a way to draft Cross, they won’t have to worry about the left tackle position for half a decade.
While there are better offensive tackle prospects in this draft, New Orleans doesn’t have a realistic shot at them. Ikem Ekwonu and Evan Neal are two potential names who could go No. 1 overall to the Jaguars and then Cross is the third-best prospect. It’s going to be tough for the Saints to get him at No. 18.
If they can find a way to land Cross, they’ll be set at left tackle for the foreseeable future.
Losing Terron Armstead would be unfortunate but with his injury concerns and being on the wrong side of 30, moving on from him will be the right decision for New Orleans. Hopefully, they can land one of these three draft prospects to replace him.