Round 2: Pick 49 – Desmond Ridder, QB (Cincinnati)
In most mock drafts, I operate under the assumption that Jameis Winston will land back with New Orleans. Even with that assumption, however, no one would be surprised if the team still spent one of their draft picks on a quarterback.
In this mock draft, they go with Desmond Ridder out of Cincinnati. If the Saints went this route, Winston would still be the guy in 2022 and maybe even 2023 depending on how long of a deal he signs this offseason. Ridder will need some time to sit and learn on the sidelines and we’ve seen how well that can work for rookie quarterbacks.
Ridder makes sense for NOLA because he’s a guy who does best in a run-first offense and the Saints are certainly that. He’s a mobile quarterback but can make necessary plays through the air. This pick might not excite fans that much but keep in mind he’d be a project quarterback and not expected to play much, if at all, as a rookie.
Round 3: Pick 100 – Jeremy Ruckert, TE (Ohio State)
The tight end position needs help, as Adam Trautman isn’t looking like the guy the Saints thought they were getting when they spent a third-round pick on him two years ago. Now, they try their luck with a third-round tight end again, this time in the form of Jeremy Ruckert.
Ruckert’s stats don’t pop off the page but he had a lot of competition at Ohio State when it came to targets. He’s a good blocker but the Saints would hopefully be able to use him more as a pass-catcher. He’d provide a solid red-zone weapon for whoever is quarterbacking NOLA these next few years and that’s something this team needs.