The New Orleans Saints have two picks in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. What direction will they go in with those picks?
Chris Trapasso of CBS Sports put together a seven-round mock draft and had the Saints cleaning up big time with their two selections.
At pick No. 16, Trapasso — acting as the Saints’ GM — had the black and gold nabbing Mississippi State offensive tackle, Charles Cross. This would be an absolute steal for New Orleans if Cross were to fall this far, as he’s recently been trending toward being a top-10 pick.
Trapasso offered this analysis:
"The Saints’ trade-up ultimately yields a top-end talent at the tackle position. Mission accomplished."
Fair enough. The Saints not only land a stud with one of their two first-rounders but the guy could be the next Terron Armstead for them. Home-run pick.
With the No. 19 selection, Trapasso turned his attention to the defensive side of the ball, making Purdue’s George Karlaftis the next member of the Saints.
"The Saints add more outside pass-rush talent to their defense with Karlaftis."
This would be a lot of fun if things played out this way. Karlaftis is a 6’4″, 244-pound monster at EDGE, indicated by his 10 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks through 12 games with the Boilermakers in 2021. He’d be an immediate game-changer in this Saints defense.
New Orleans Saints hit the jackpot with two first-round selections
The other picks in this draft were as follows:
- Round 2: Pick 49 – Kyler Gordon, CB (Washington)
- Round 3: Pick 98 – Bailey Zappe, QB (Western Kentucky)
- Round 4: Pick 120 – Leon O’Neal, S (Texas A&M)
- Round 5: Pick 161 – Jashuan Corbin, RB (Florida State)
- Round 6: Pick 194 – Kyle Phillips, WR (UCLA)
The only thing I don’t like about Trapasso’s mock for the Saints is that they once again waited until late in the draft to add a wide receiver. They can’t afford to do that two years in a row.
I really like the Bailey Zappe selection, however, so that makes up for the neglect of wide receivers. Zappe was a stud during his one season at Western Kentucky and if the Saints could find a way to add both him and Jerreth Sterns — his favorite target — then this offense would be in good shape moving forward.
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This article, however, is all about those two first-round selections though. It’d be hard to be mad at the team landing a franchise left tackle and another smothering pass-rusher. This team would be stronger with Cross and Karlaftis onboard, that’s for sure.