College Stars are declaring for the 2020 NFL Draft left and right. That means it’s time to bring you our first 2020 Saints Mock Draft! The NFL Off-Season has just begun for New Orleans, and there is a ton we simply don’t know yet. Is Drew Brees coming back? How much will it take to bring Vonn Bell back? Has David Onyemata priced himself out of NOLA? Will Janoris Jenkins be a salary cap casualty? Does Mickey Loomis have any magic tricks remaining to make it all work out!? Who really knows!? That being said, we are going to work with the information we do have. Hold this mock.
Trevon Diggs CB, Alabama
With the #24 overall pick, the Saints need to fill a critical hole. That hole is the starting cornerback spot opposite of Marshon Lattimore. Ken Crawley wasn’t the answer, and he is a step away from the XFL. Eli Apple had his moments but also struggled in spurts. Janoris Jenkins played well. However, he is 31 years old, and the Saints can add 10 Million in cap space by cutting him. Enter, Trevon Diggs. Diggs, a 6’2 205lb cornerback, is a physical player who excels in zone and press-man coverage. With Julio Jones and Mike Evans still in the NFC South, these are important skills to have handy. Diggs is a former receiver with good ball skills. While not a burner, he’s an adequate athlete at the NFL level. Things may work out for Apple and Jenkins in NOLA, but we all know you can never have too many DB’s.
**Bonus** His older brother is that crybaby, Stefon Diggs. Trevon would have the opportunity to shut him down when the Vikings come to the Dome next season!
Solomon Kindley G, Georgia
Andrus Peat is going to be offered a big contract this off-season. It just won’t be from the Saints. The NFL seems to overvalue him. We know better than that. Injuries and spotty play have made it easy for us to part ways with the Pro Bowler. In this Saints mock draft, they select his replacement in the third round. Kindley excels as both a run and pass blocker. He’s got heavy hands and good burst. Kindley is a THICC boy at 335 lbs. His lower body strength and balance provide him a great anchor to hold up on the line. He moves exceptionally well in space, given his size. If he gets in a little better shape, he could become an absolute monster guard and offensive line cornerstone with Eric McCoy and Ryan Ramczyk.
Michael Pittman Jr. WR, USC
If that name sounds familiar… it should! His dad, Michael Pittman Sr., is from New Orleans. Whom, by the way, faced the Saints twice a year for six years as a running back for Tampa Bay.
This selection isn’t based on sentimental bullshit. Pittman Jr. fits a need for New Orleans as a running mate alongside Michael Thomas. Remember Brandon Coleman? What if Coleman developed as expected? That’s Pittman Jr. A big-bodied, physical receiver who can go up and grab the ball. Also, just like Coleman, he’s a phenomenal run-blocking receiver. At 6’4 and 220 lbs, Pittman Jr. can thrive as that big slot receiver the Saints love, or he can lineup on the outside. While not a burner, he has a knack for getting YAC by seeking the soft spots in a defense and fighting through initial contact. His all-around skill-set would be a perfect chess piece for Sean Payton.
Antonio Gibson RB, Memphis
Speaking of chess pieces… Gibson is listed as a running back, but this kid is an athlete! I’m not sure he can play as many positions as my man-crush Taysom Hill, but he’s another guy who can strike fear in the opponent with his positional versatility. He lines up at receiver, running back, and kick returner. He’s got similar size, speed, and power to Latavius Murray. He’s got versatility similar to Alvin Kamara. He is neither of those players, but he is an ideal third running back given his similarities to the top dogs in the backfield and his ability to contribute on special teams.
Akeem Davis-Gaither LB, Appalachian St.,
A.J. Klein is a free agent. Kiko Alonso can’t play every down and might be a cap casualty. Alex Anzalone is solid, but can’t stay healthy. Akeem Davis-Gaither(ADG) is the perfect developmental linebacker to compete with Kaden Elliss. ADG is an explosive athlete on the second level of the defense. The knocks on him are his level of competition in the Sun Belt, and his weight. At 6’2 and 215 lbs, ADG will need to add 10-20 lbs to play his position in the NFL. However, even at his size, he can regularly be seen embracing contact in the trenches and on the edge with success. He flashes in coverage against running backs and tight ends. ADG has found success shooting gaps and blitzing from the edge. His athleticism and tenacity make him a prime special teams candidate with the potential to grow into a weapon for Dennis Allen.
That wraps up the first 2020 Saints Mock Draft at HTM. Follow me, on Twitter and Instagram, for more coverage of professional sports in New Orleans as well as the NFL Draft! Stay tuned to HTM… Big things are coming!