Dale Money | April 18th, 2020
After suffering another early playoff exit at the hands of the Minnesota Vikings, the New Orleans Saints decided to still put their faith into Drew Brees this offseason. Brees will stick around for at least two more years at a cost of $50 million dollars, making him the 12th highest paid quarterback. In deciding to take a discount, Brees will be doing the Saints an enormous favor as far as cap space is concerned, with running back Alvin Kamara looking for a new deal after the 2020 season.
They would lose Teddy Bridgewater to the Carolina Panthers this offseason. Bridgewater will be paid $63 million dollars for three seasons; $40 million dollars of which is guaranteed. However, Taysom Hill will be back for at least one more season, as the deadline for offering restricted free agents to offer sheets passed. Hill will receive $4.6 million dollars in 2020.
Safety Malcolm Jenkins returns to the club where his NFL career started, after a six-year stint with the Philadelphia Eagles. Jenkins will make $32 million dollars over the course of four years, this includes a $9 million dollar signing bonus.
So without much further ado, let’s take a look at some of the team’s needs heading into April’s draft. Linebacker, wide receiver, cornerback, and defensive line are all positions that will need to be addressed. The Saints will have just five picks, with only one in the top 85 overall selections.
To help with this mock draft, I used the Fanspeak mock draft simulator.
Make sure to check out all of our other NFL team mock drafts here.
Round 1, Pick 24: Patrick Queen, LB, LSU
Queen played just one year as a starter at LSU but certainly made it count racking up 85 combined tackles, three sacks, and an interception. He would show up in the National Championship game against the Clemson Tigers, earning himself six solo tackles and a half-sack. Queen is considered by many observers to be the best pure linebacker in this coming Draft. Isn’t a very big specimen weighing in at 229 pounds but has great speed for a linebacker, having run a 4.5 40-yard dash at the scouting combine. With his solid reads and good sideline-to-sideline speed, Queen can cut down passing lanes lickety-split.
Round 3, Pick 88: Gabriel Davis, WR, UCF
The Saints are still looking for the duo receiver to give Michael Thomas a break. They would add Emmanuel Sanders in the offseason on a two-year contract, however, that move is looked at more as a stop-gap. This is most likely Sanders’ last real opportunity at a Super Bowl before he decides to call it quits. After the release of Ted Ginn, it now leaves Tre’Quan Smith and Deonte Harris as the main depth receivers.
Davis has that ideal size at 6’2″ and 215 pounds, which would make for a fascinating draft target for the Saints. He also has solid speed, although I wouldn’t classify Davis as a burner. Davis possesses very nice acceleration, with the ability to put distance between himself and the opposing defenders once gaining momentum. With the soft hands, solid ball concentration and big body, he will make for a strong possession target.
Round 4, Pick 130: Troy Pride Jr., CB, Notre Dame
With both Marshon Lattimore and Janoris Jenkins holding down the two starting cornerback spots next season, the team will be looking to add some much-needed depth with Eli Apple out the door. Pride’s performance at the Senior Bowl proved to be a great investment. On top of some strong practices, Pride had a 33-yard interception return in the game. His elite speed and athleticism are pro-ready, however, Pride does not have great strength for an NFL corner.
Round 5, Pick 169: Khalil Davis, DL, Nebraska
Davis was a four year player with the Nebraska Cornhuskers but didn’t become a full-fledged starter until 2019. Davis was ranked eighth in the Big Ten last year in sacks. Has really good athleticism for a player his size, Davis 40-yard dash at the combine was the fastest among players weighing over 300 pounds or more since 2006.
Round 6, Pick 203: J.R. Reed, S, Georgia
Reed played three full seasons at Georgia, combining for just under 200 tackles. He was a Thorpe Award finalist, alongside two notable names coming into the draft, Grant Delpit and Jeffrey Okudah. Having felt overlooked as far as draft projections go, Reed came to the scouting combine with the intention to raise his draft stock. In the 40-yard dash, Reed ran a 4.54, which was ninth fastest among safeties.
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