Saints Mock Draft: Addressing depth, seeking versatility with 2019 picks
Saints 7 Round Mock Draft:
Round 1: No pick, traded to GBP for 2018 selection Marcus Davenport.
Round 2: New Orleans needs another defensive lineman, another offensive lineman, another wide receiver and more depth at the tight end spot.
I think they go for a big man so I’m mocking yet another Ohio State product to them with their first draft choice of 2019. Defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones, a 6-foot-2, 288 pounder, is adept as a penetrator. The 3 tech has a quick first step and a knack for batting down passes at the line. Jones does a fine job at getting into throwing lanes. A natural athlete with upfield mobility to create disruption, Jones has been a consistent interior pass rusher for the Buckeyes.
Other prospects the Saints may grab here include tight end Josh Oliver (6-5, 250), a San Jose State product who is athletic with 4.63 speed to cause mismatches.
Another who I can see as a fit is Elton Jenkins (6-4, 315), a center out of Mississippi State who is a smooth, consistent player with good body control. He is also athletic enough to get to the second level and rarely blows an assignment. Jenkins is versatile enough to project to the offensive tackle position by some scouts.
Round 3: No pick, traded to NYJ for quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.
Round 4: No pick, traded to NYG for cornerback Eli Apple.
Round 5: Wide receiver Hunter Renfrow (5-10, 175), a reliable slot receiver out of Clemson who catches everything, finds the open spot in pass coverage and runs well after the catch. He had a solid week at the Senior Bowl during a week where the Saints are known to find players they like.
Renfrow does lack ideal size and is not a speed burner in the low 4.5 range. His age (already 23) is a factor because a team will expect a near finished product who will produce if they intend to use a draft pick for him.
Round 6A: Defensive end Austin Bryant (6-4, 265) is another standout from national champion Clemson who could be a late round bargain. He has first step quickness to rush the passer with his hand on the ground or as a stand-up pass rusher. An experienced three-year starter against top college talent, Bryant plays with some power and has good length. The Saints are still looking to add options at edge pass rusher.
Round 6B: Miami (Fla.) safety Sheldrick Redwine (6-0, 205; 4.45 speed) is an experienced senior who has shown good man pass coverage skills. He is strong and mobile, able to cover slot receivers and tight ends and play physical in the box. Redwine is also a solid wrap-up tackler. He could be a fine special teams contributor with potential to be more.
Round 7A: Running back Mike Weber (5-10, 212; 4.48 speed) is yet another Ohio State player who makes sense for the Saints. He is a tough down-hill runner with some speed. Weber runs with good balance and change of direction while showing good vision and reliable hands as a receiver.
Round 7B: Versatility is something teams look for late in drafts, and Alabama’s Christian Miller (6-3, 243) can project to inside and outside linebacker. His speed (4.80) hurts his draft stock but Miller had a solid career going against tough SEC competition. He has a lot of upside although he will need to be effective right away on special teams.
Summary: If the Saints do what they have done in the past, they may not stay where they are in the draft. They may trade up or add a pick by using future assets if they see a prospect they really want. One almost expects that they will be aggressive based on the Saints’ draft track record.
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CCS NFL Draft Expert
Dupuy is the owner of Draft Day Report, The Pro Prospects Draft Scrapbook, a must for any draftnik following the NFL. Al was born in Plaquemine, La., and moved to New Orleans when he was 6 years old. He grew up on Tulane Ave. two blocks from Pelican Stadium and became interested in sports at an early age. He went…