Saints 7-Round Mock Draft

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Saints logo
12: R1P12: SHELDON RANKINS, DT, LOUISVILLE
6’1 299 lbs.
Louisville Football v Memphis
FIT: Last year, the Saints tried running a 4-3 base defense with Kevin Williams and John Jenkins at starter. While there were times Williams played well, watching Jenkins play was often about as pleasant as I imagine a brain aneurysm to be. The main problem at this position, there is not enough talent. Rankins might be the best in an absolutely loaded class, having turned many senior tackles into human turnstiles at Senior Bowl practices.
                                     http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1998998/sheldon-rankins
47: R2P16: SHILIQUE CALHOUN, DE, MICHIGAN STATE
6’4 251 lbs.
NCAA Football: Rose Bowl-Stanford vs Michigan State

Jan 1, 2014; Pasadena, CA, USA; Michigan State Spartans defensive end Shilique Calhoun (89) tackles Stanford Cardinal running back Tyler Gaffney (25) during the second half at the Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

FIT: Akiem Hicks was so inept for the Saints defense, he was ousted by what could perhaps have been the worst starting 4-3 end in the league: Bobby Richardson. That may be a little harsh, but nobody’s claiming Richardson’s a starter. The Saints must find an answer opposite Cam Jordan and they may not have the cap space to find a starter in free agency. This class is solid at this position at the top, with zero depth.
                                     http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1868388/shilique-calhoun
78: R3P15: DEION JONES, OLB, LSU
6’1 222 lbs.
Jones
FIT: Watching the Saints attempt to cover a tight end will either make you do a spit-take or cause indigestion, depending on your allegiance. Point being, they can cover a tight end like an umbrella with a hole in it can cover a person in the rain. This was especially prominent in the Tennessee game when the Saints allowed Craig Stevens and Anthony Fasano to combine for 5 catches, 58 yards and a game-winning touchdown in overtime. Jones possesses sideline-to-sideline coverage ability and would inject athleticism and speed into a defense that’s seemingly allergic to the concept.
                                     http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1984265/deion-jones
113: R4P14: STERLING SHEPARD, WR, OKLAHOMA
5’10 194 lbs.
 Shepard
FIT: Marques Colston is out, and supposedly, Brandon Coleman is the answer. While the big, tall and athletic Coleman looked good in spot duty last year, the Saints need to think about injecting more talent into the receiving corps. I begged the Saints to grab Tyler Lockett last year, now with Shepard falling due to his size and a perceived weakness overall at the position, the Saints would be wise to grab the smooth, polished OU product if he’s available.
                                     http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1996786/sterling-shepard
152: R5P13: REES ODHIAMBO, G, BOISE STATE
6’4 314 lbs.
 Odiambho
FIT: The Saints just cut ties with long-time starter Jahri Evans, and after jettisoning Ben Grubbs last season, there is very little talent at the position in the building. Depending on what they do in free agency, Sean Payton still counts this as one of the team’s biggest needs. Odhiambo is a talented prospect from outside the Power 5 who could be a steal in the fifth, might remind some fans of a certain Bloomsburg prospect.
                                     http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1825221/rees-odhiambo
235: R7P16: ANTWAUN WOODS, DT, SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
6’0 318 lbs.
Christian Powell, Antwaun Woods, Hayes Pullard

Colorado tailback Christian Powell, center, is tackled for a loss by Southern California linebacker Hayes Pullard, left, and defensive tackle Antwaun Woods (99) in the first quarter of an NCAA college football game in Boulder, Colo., Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) ** Usable by LA and DC Only **

FIT: Remember what I said about the Saints situation at defensive tackle? It’s that bad. With the draft so deep at defensive tackle, it makes sense to grab one at this late stage as well, and Woods has a workable frame to go with a high-motor and excellent work ethic. He’ll fit right in with the locker room Payton wants to build and might even find some playing time in a rotational role.
                                     http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1851134/antwaun-woods

Third Round Live Grades

Round Three Grades

May 1, 2015

Colts: D’Joun Smith, CB, Florida Atlantic

djoun smith

Grade: B-

Smith is a solid player and fits the range here. There were a lot of people calling for Greg Toler’s head opposite Vontae Davis which I feel was a bit unfounded. Because of that, I didn’t feel it was a huge need, but a nice player at this spot.

Titans: Jeremiah Poutasi, OG, Utah

Jeremiah-Poutasi

Grade: C+

Titans needed a ton of offensive line help, though I have to say I would have liked to see a tackle here, T.J. Clemmings anyone? Potouasi is a 3-4 round prospect so it’s a minor reach.

Jaguars: A.J. Cann, OG, South Carolina

cann

Grade: A+

Wow, Jags making good moves? Crazy. Either way, Caan is a steal here in the third, should’ve been a high second round pick. Could be the best pure guard in the draft. Jags have to protect Bortles and get a running game going, good step towards that.

Raiders: Clive Walford, TE, Miami

NCAA Football: Florida A&M at Miami

Grade: B

I love the talent here at the spot but I’ve read that Walford has a bit of an attitude, don’t want that clouding a very young locker room. Hopefully Del Rio can straighten him out but this could hurt the Raiders in the long run.

Seahawks: Tyler Lockett, WR, Kansas State

lock

Grade: A

People are not high enough on this kid who I feel should have been taken in the early second round, he’s a razor sharp route runner with great work ethic and high character. He will contribute immediately and Wilson will love him. The rich get richer.

Texans: Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State

jaleenstrong3

Grade: Is there a higher than A+ grade? grade

Texans fill a need with the best player available and that player happens to be a top-15 talent. His knock is an injury that will cause him to be out through training camp and possibly into the season but once he’s healthy he’s smart enough and polished enough to come in and contribute immediately. Incredible.

Bears: Hroniss Grasu, C, Oregon

HGrasu

Grade: C+

He’s a fourth round guy but this fills a need, I just think it’s a bit of a reach. He’s a consistent guy but has a fairly low ceiling.

Rams: Jamon Brown, OT, Louisville

Jamon

Grade: C+

Same story, fills a big need but he may not even be talented enough to start right away. With T.J. Clemmings still available, this pick leaves me scratching my head.

Falcons: Tevin Coleman, RB, Indiana

Tevin Coleman, Kurtis Drummond

Grade: A

Love this pick, Coleman was my third-best running back in this draft so to get him in the early-mid third is a big steal. He was a game-breaker at Indiana and will fit right into the rotation for the Falcons.

Giants: Owamagbe Odighizuwa, DE, UCLA

owa

Grade: A

Wow, some great picks here. Giants get a great run-stuffer with pass rush ability who could immediately contribute on their defensive line in the third round. Love the guy and the pick.

Saints: Garrett Grayson, QB, Colorado State

grayson

Grade: B-

I love Garrett Grayson. I think he has incredible touch, poise, adequate power. I don’t think the Saints needed a QB here but I’m not terribly surprised. Especially since, as expected, all the Petty talk was smoke.

Chiefs: Chris Conley, WR, Georgia

Georgia Football versus Tennessee

Grade: B

I’m conflicted here because I think Conley is underrated. However, I think he would have been available in the fourth. Lots of better players available but good fit for need for the Chiefs.

Browns: Duke Johnson, RB, Miami

Florida Atlantic at Miami

Grade: C

Do the Browns need another underwhelming back? Ajayi is a better player and still available, plus Terrence West was solid last year and they also have Isiah Crowell who played well at times. Johnson is about on par with them so I don’t really get it.

Saints: P.J. Williams, CB, Florida State

pf

Grade: B+

He had a DUI charge dropped recently and there are some on-field concerns with technique but he’s a second round talent so this is a nice pickup. Saints had more pressing needs but this is a BPA situation.

49ers: Eli Harold, DE, Virginia

eli

Grade: A

Nice find in the mid-third round for San Francisco, Eli Harold was the best player left on the board and gives the niners some insurance in case Aldon Smith gets in trouble again.

Lions: Alex Carter, CB, Stanford

alex

Grade: A-

Fills a big need seeing as Rashean Mathis has to turn to dirt at some point this season so they’ll need some insurance. Carter was the best corner available and the range fits perfectly.

Bills: John Miller, G, Louisville

Miller vs. ND

Grade: B

Wow, no QB? It’s about the spot where Petty or Hundley would be acceptable but they go with this guy, who is a solid guard but that wasn’t a huge need. They still have a huge hole under center but they get a good player.

Jets: Lorenzo Mauldin, OLB, Louisville

mauldin

Grade: C-

Mauldin is a fine prospect, in the fifth round. This is a serious reach to fill a need, they must have some serious conviction in this kid, but currently I don’t. They had to make up for the steal they got in Williams though, it’s the Jets.

Chargers: Craig Mager, CB, Texas State

mager

Grade:D

Yikes, what were they thinking? This is a huge over-drafting situation and it’s not even a position of pressing need. The only reason I don’t give this an F is I think he could develop into a fine player down the line, but he needs a few years.

Eagles: Jordan Hicks, ILB, Texas

hicks

Grade: C-

So they’re shopping Mychal Kendricks and this is their answer? Gotta say I’m scratching my head here. No way is Hicks a third round draft pick. Chip overvalues athleticism sometimes and here’s another example.

Bengals: Tyler Kroft, TE, Rutgers

kroft_ul

Grade: C

It’s clear that the Bengals don’t understand or care about their needs. They have a capable starter in Tyler Eiffert. Also, they had the lowest number of sacks in the NFL last year. Where’s the defensive help? Kroft is a fine player but he probably won’t play this year.

Cardinals: David Johnson, RB, Northern Iowa

david

Grade: B-

Right position, wrong player. David Johnson is more of a power guy so it makes sense to pair him with Ellington. What makes no sense is why they didn’t take Jay Ajayi who is a significantly superior prospect.

Steelers: Sammie Coates, WR, Auburn

1215_Sammie-Coates_inside

Grade: A

Coates is an excellent player who needs to improve his hands but this is a steal here, he’s lightning quick and a crisp route runner. Nice find for Pittsburgh who continue to help Roethlisberger as he gets older.

Vikings: Danielle Hunter, DE, LSU

danielle

Grade: A-

The only reason I’m not jumping for this pick is that Hunter never really produced at LSU but this is the spot to take a prospect with a massive ceiling. Hunter is a wall of muscle and an athletic freak. Great place to go being paired with defensive-minded Mike Zimmer. Vikings building a nice looking defense.

Rams: Sean Mannion, QB, Oregon State

Sean Mannion

Grade: B

Mannion is a fine player but he needs some talent to throw to and the Rams have a middling receiving corps. Thankfully he won’t be asked to help right away with Foles entrenched as the starter. Mannion could end up being a fine starter in this situation. The Rams have to find some juice for their receiving corps though.

Ravens: Carl Davis, DT, Iowa

carl davis

Grade: A+

Ravens have had a bad draft to this point but this is an excellent find in the late third. Davis fell for really no good reason so finding him hear has to get the Ravens fired up, he will be a fine replacement for Ngata.

Cowboys: Chaz Green, OT, Florida

rn_i_chazgreen_ms_600

Grade: B

Slight overdraft but I fully understand the pick, one injury to either Smith or Free and the Cowboys cupboard is bare. Green could start for some teams so he’s a nice find here in the late third. Disappointed the Cowboys missed on Ajayi though.

Broncos: Jeff Heuerman, TE, Ohio State

OSU12NEB_MM ONLINE 50

Grade: B

Fine player at this spot, he was probably the best tight end available and the Broncos can’t yet rely solely on Virgil Green, but Heuerman was a fourth round guy on my board. It’s a weak draft for tight ends.

Colts: Henry Anderson, DE, Stanford

Oregon State v Stanford

Grade: B-

Another mid-fourth round talent but understandable selection for a need area. He’s a hard-hat type player with good character and size. Solid find and should fit into the rotation in Indianapolis

Packers: Ty Montgomery, WR, Stanford

montgomery2

Grade: B-

Another receiver for the Packers? No inside linebacker? Kind of unbelievable at this point that they’re just ignooring the position. Granted, I really like Montgomery and think he’s been underrated throughout the draft process.

Redskins: Matt Jones, RB, Florida

matt jones

Grade: B

Roy Helu replacement? Alfred Morris compliment? Not sure where he fits but he’s a good player and a bit of a steal here as I had him as an early third-round guy.

Browns: Xavier Cooper, DT, Washington State

xavier

Grade: A-

I love Cooper as a prospect and feel he is severely underrated, this is a great grade for me since I feel Danny Shelton, who the Browns picked earlier, is a two-down guy. Cooper will fit into the rotation. Great replacement for the disappointing Ahtyba Rubin.

Patriots: Geneo Grissom, DE, Oklahoma

geneo

Grade: C+

This is such a Bellichick pick. Grissom is a very raw prospect with massive talent and ideal size that will probably become a pro bowler under his tutelage. But he’s a fifth round prospect so for the sake of grades, I don’t love it.

Chiefs: Steven Nelson, CB, Oregon State

steven

Grade: B

He fits the scheme really well as an off-corner with a physical mean-streak. He’s a slight reach and there are better corners available so I don’t love it but he could contribute and the Chiefs need some insurance if Marcus Peters doesn’t work out.

Bengals: Paul Dawson, ILB, TCU

NCAA FOOTBALL: OCT 04 Oklahoma at TCU

Grade: A+

Finally, Bengals go defense and what a way to do it. Dawson is a first round talent on tape who had a bad combine performance. Dawson is a ready and willing contributor and the Bengals are a great situation for him as he has some slight character concerns and Marvin Lewis is a very capable disciplinarian.