Saints grab right fits for big needs in first round

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Trevor Penning

So much for all the talk about the Saints trading up to get a quarterback.

Although they did move up to No. 11 overall from the No.16 spot, New Orleans made the deal to secure the wide receiver I hoped they would draft.

Chris Olave (6-1, 189) Ohio State

with 4.39 speed and polished skills, he was my second rated receiver behind Garrett Wilson, another Buckeyes wideout who went right before him at No. 10 overall. Olave, athletic and agile is an elite route runner with a quick release off the line. He’s the best route runner in this draft. Olave also has consistent hands and, although it is not his strenght, he will fight for contested balls. His conssitently flashed deep speed from his freshman season to make the big play.

Saints coach Dennis Allen said after the draft that Olave was their top rated receiver so it made sense that they moved up to secure a real need. New Orleans did have to give up picks in rounds three (98th overall) and four (120th overall) in this draft to get their man.

Trevor Penning (6-7, 325) Northern Iowa

With the 19th pick, the Saints filled another need by picking the huge offensive tackle out of the FCS. Penning has a massive frame with great arm length but he also uses his size. He’s no gentle giant. Penning is imposing with a mean and nasty streak. An athletic big man who is very strong, he is a power blocker who can dominate lighter defenders. Penning played left tackle mostly at UNI but did play one game at right tackle in 2021.

Allen said he is what the Saints look for in an offensive lineman. It’s clear Penning will be given every opportunity to be Terron Armstead’s immediate replacement at left tackle.

These are the two players I projected the Saints to take in round one in my final CCS Mock Draft but I didn’t think they would have to trade up to get Olave. The Saints either wisely sensed a run of receiver picks after Wilson or helped to start one in the first 20 selections in which six were wideouts.

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Al Dupuy

CCS NFL Draft Expert

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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…

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