We’ve covered numerous prospects that the New Orleans Saints will be keeping a serious eye on come draft night. Now it is time to take a look at which positions the Saints need to fill the most. We will briefly cover some of the top prospects to fill those needs as well as some surprise picks.
If there is one position that you could say is a hole on the Saints’ roster it would be Middle Linebacker. Demario Davis is an All-Pro and one of the best in the game. Alex Anzalone is solid, but he has had trouble staying healthy. Two out of his three years in the league so far, he has ended up on IR to finish the year. Starting Middle Linebacker, A.J. Klein signed with Buffalo a couple weeks ago in free agency. Kiko Alonso is a good starter in this league, but he is coming off of his third torn ACL of his career. There are two candidates to fill this need. We have reviewed both of them. The first is Kenneth Murray out of Oklahoma. The second is Patrick Queen out of LSU. The Saints should be very pleased if they can snag either player 24th overall.
The New Orleans Saints took a huge leap in the right direction a few weeks ago when they signed Emmanuel Sanders. This filled the biggest need without a doubt, the second receiver behind Michael Thomas. To do it with a first option receiver like Sanders, is going to do wonders for the offense. However, our slot receiver position could be looked at to be improved. Tre’Quan Smith has shown flashes of being a really good player, but injuries and just overall inconsistency has hurt him. If someone like Justin Jefferson is available, it would be very hard to pass on giving Drew Brees another weapon. Knowing how aggressive Sean Payton and Mickey Loomis are, do not rule out an all in trade up to snag someone like Henry Ruggs III or CeeDee Lamb.
Dating back to the end of last season, the Saints have been making moves to address the secondary. The team signed Janoris Jenkins off of waivers near the end of last season and he made a immediate difference. Add that to bringing back Malcom Jenkins in free agency to fill the starting Strong Safety position, and the secondary is looking good. The one position that hasn’t been addressed is the Slot Corner. C. J. Gardner-Johnson should be penciled in as the starter right now. He had an amazing rookie campaign and looks ready to break out. One of his biggest assets is his versatility. He can play in the slot, Strong Safety, and even Linebacker in certain formations. The Saints could look to bring in another young Corner like A.J. Terrell to fill in when CGJ moves around the field.
We all know that Mickey Loomis, Sean Payton, and the New Orleans Saints love to shake things up and take risks. So, let’s take a look at a few players who could be surprise picks on Thursday night.
First up is the possible heir to the throne, Jordan Love. The Saints have been doing their due diligence on Love throughout this process and depending how the draft plays out, they could pull the trigger on the possible next franchise QB. If Love is available at 24, it would be very hard for the Saints to pass on him. However, do not rule out a trade up either. Sean Payton was high on Patty Mahomes a few years ago, and if he feels as confident in Jordan Love, do not be surprised when he goes and gets him.
The League values good pass rushers. For example, we saw the Saints trade up 13 picks to take a young raw pass rusher in Marcus Davenport. It could be a similar situation with K’Lavon Chaisson out of LSU. This guy is a raw talent, and he is going to be problem in the NFL. If the front office thinks he is going to be the next great pass rusher, we’ve seen them make draft day moves similar to this.
For our final surprise pick we have J.K. Dobbins out of Ohio State. In the 2017 draft we saw the New Orleans Saints trade up for a Running Back named Alvin Kamara. The reaction from most fans was why did we do that? We have two solid backs in Mark Ingram and Adrian Peterson. Fast forward to today and Alvin Kamara is a top back in the game. So, we could see a similar situation with J.K. Dobbins. The Saints recently had an interview with Dobbins and have been showing interest. If Dobbins falls to the second round, do not be surprised if the Saints give up future assets to move into the second round and take him.
No matter who we select on Thursday night, one thing is for certain. It is a vital stage as we continue our quest to bring the Lombardi back to NOLA. Hold it.