The New Orleans Saints won the NFC South once again with a 12-4 record. Unfortunately, they were sent home by their division rivals, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. As Canton-bound Drew Brees rides off into the sunset, the Saints have a ton of work to do in the draft. In order to reload instead of rebuild, head coach Sean Payton and GM Mickey Loomis will have to draft as well as they have the past few years. New Orleans won’t be able to sign any big-name free agents due to them having the worst cap situation in the league. So, let’s take a look at what April’s draft might look like for the Black and Gold.
To help with this mock draft, I used The Draft Network’s mock draft simulator.
Make sure to check out all of our other NFL Team Mock Drafts.
Round 1, Pick 28: Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami
With the Saints unable to bring back their sack leader, Trey Hendrickson, they will need to have someone playing opposite Cameron Jordan. Rousseau will immediately be able to rotate in with Marcus Davenport on the edge and could make an impact as a rookie. While there are needs at linebacker as well as in the secondary, the Saints go with the raw talent of Rousseau to be sure they keep the pressure on opposing quarterbacks.
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Round 2, Pick 60: Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama
New Orleans sticks with the defensive side of the ball here. Linebacker is a glaring need with Alex Anzalone and Craig Robertson gone. The Saints still have Demario Davis and last year’s third-round pick Zack Baun, but Davis can’t do it all, and Baun hasn’t played much at the NFL level yet. Moses is a leader on defense. He led the Crimson Tide in tackles with 80 and helped Alabama hold the Ohio State Buckeyes to just 24 points in the National Championship. He is also from Louisiana, so he would be at home patrolling the dome for the Saints.
For more on Moses, check out our scouting report on him here.
Round 3, Pick 98: Ar’Darius Washington, Safety, TCU
Even though the Saints have a little depth in their secondary, at least more than at linebacker, they will look to replace Marcus Williams. Washington formed a solid safety duo for the Horned Frogs with Trevon Moehrig (Scouting Report). While Washington is not a big guy (5’8, 175 lbs), he is versatile. That ability will be intriguing to the Saints as they are likely to lose a couple of cornerbacks as well in P.J. Williams and Janoris Jenkins who may be a cap casualty.
For more on Washington, check out our scouting report on him here.
Round 3, Pick 105: Brevin Jordan, TE, Miami
Finally going with some offense, the Saints grab Jordan to pair with second-year tight end Adam Trautman. Coincidentally, Trautman was also picked with the 105th selection. Jared Cook and long-time Saint Josh Hill are both gone and this could be a slight change in offensive philosophy. Jordan is a very good pass catcher and can make things happen with the ball in his hands. Under new tight ends coach Dan Roushar, the Saints may be running a lot of two-tight-end sets this season.
For more on Jordan, check out our scouting report on him here.
Round 4, Pick 133: Sage Surratt, WR, Wake Forest
Although the Saints may be better served with a fast receiver to complement Michael Thomas, Surratt’s size and strength may fit in with the aforementioned change in philosophy. Emmanuel Sanders may very well be another cap casualty. Cutting him before his roster bonus kicks in on March 21 would save the Saints about $6.5 million. If/when that happens, expect New Orleans to bring in a wideout like Surratt to go with Thomas, Tre’Quan Smith, and speedster Deonte Harris.
For more on Surratt, check out our scouting report on him here.
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