With three picks in the first 42, GM Mickey Loomis and coach Sean Payton need to add more talent on defense if they’re to have a shot at one last Super Bowl run before the Drew Brees era finally comes to a close.
By Greg DePalma, PSN Executive Producer
Don’t forget to tune in this Thursday for a final ‘mock draft’ edition on Ourlads Guide to the 2017 NFL Draft with former NFL scout, Dan Shonka.
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FS Rafael Bush
QB Chase Daniel
WR Ted Ginn Jr.
LB A.J. Klein
DE Alex Okafor
LB Manti Te’o
OG Larry Warford
FS Jairus Byrd
WR Brandin Cooks
DE Kasim Edebali
RB Tim Hightower
OG Tim Lelito
CB B.W. Webb
Priority needs (Offense)
QB…The Saints need to look to the future when Drew Brees retires because Garrett Grayson has not offered hope to this point. But with so many key needs on defense the Saints should wait until the third or fourth round at the earliest before thinking about this position.
OL…Left tackle Terron Armstead and right tackle Zach Streif are top-grade players. But Armstead has an injury history including missing nine games last season while Streif is 33. Guard Andrus Peat looks like a keeper and will shift outside soon, but there’s still a lack of quality depth on the line.
Priority needs (Defense)
DE…Because he plays for an underwhelming unit, Cameron Jordan might be the most underrated player in the league. As good as he is, he can’t do it alone. If the Saints want to get real about applying pressure without blitzing they’ll need to add another player here early.
CB…This position dealt with far too many injuries last season as the top three players remaining on their depth chart wound up playing in just eight combined games. This is clearly their top need with at least two players being added here.
The Saints should use two of their top three selections on corners in a strong corner class. They should also add another pass rusher early too. Once you get passed the two obvious needs though, look for them to add more offensive skill position players in the later rounds unless someone drops to them unexpectedly like running back Christian McCaffrey. Payton likes to play with many toys and McCaffrey would add a dimension to the offense like Reggie Bush once did. Picking up a tight end in the later rounds like a Gerald Everett or a Michael Roberts could also help open things up for the underachieving Coby Fleener. And if they do add a prospect signal-caller, Davis Webb or Brad Kaaya would look good in the 3rd or 4th round while Chad Kelly might work a bit later.
Top first-round options (11th pick)
CB Gareon Conley
CB Tre’Davious White
DE Taco Charlton
Top first-round options (32nd pick)
CB Kevin King
DE Jordan Willis
DL DeMarcus Walker