Round 5: Pick 161 – Neil Farrell, DT (LSU)
After going offense with the first five picks of the draft, Saints fans would celebrate the selection of LSU defensive lineman Neil Farrell. The LSU alum would immediately rotate at defensive tackle in Ryan Nielsen’s scheme and contribute to an already outstanding Saints run defense.
Farrell allows the Saints’ defense to maintain variability as he can serve as a traditional nose tackle as well as a two-gap defensive tackle. In addition, at LSU, Farrell had an uncanny ability to lock up offensive lineman to allow Damone Clark to make tackles closer to the line of scrimmage, a trait that would be welcome news to Demario Davis and others in the Saints defense.
Round 6: Pick 194 – J.T. Woods, S (Baylor)
After losing Marcus Williams in free agency and Malcolm Jenkins to retirement, the Saints are faced with replacing both of their starting safeties in the same offseason. The signing of Marcus Maye certainly addresses one of the positions but the other starting safety position has yet to be addressed.
Most Saints fans still are hopeful for a Tyrann Mathieu signing, but instead, the Saints have thus far brought in his teammate Daniel Sorensen as a special teams contributor while also re-signing PJ Williams.
J.T. Woods has experience as a ball-hawking free safety in Dave Aranda’s defensive scheme and would provide tremendous value late in the draft.
New Orleans does not have a seventh-round pick by virtue of the trade with the Eagles, thus allowing Mickey Loomis and company to get an early start on undrafted free agency, an area where the Saints have excelled over the last several years.
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