Saints seven-round mock draft: New Orleans starts with help at tackle


Greg Auman

NFC South Reporter

A seven-round mock draft for any NFL team is a conversation. With free agency essentially over, we know positional priorities for every team with much more clarity — what has been addressed, what has been neglected with an eye on the draft — but we don’t know who a team likes within each position group.

The Saints are no different. Their tight salary-cap situation, while familiar, made it tough for them to spend much on outside free agents. Offensive tackle remains a glaring need, between the uncertainty of Ryan Ramczyk’s knee and the uncertainty of Trevor Penning’s continued struggles in two seasons in New Orleans. Whether Penning turns a corner or not, the Saints need help at tackle, and this is a great draft to have such a need.

New Orleans is in much the same position as the Bucs in 2020, picking 14th and knowing they wouldn’t have their pick of the available tackles, but that the depth of the class would allow them to pick a solid starter. The Bucs ended up sliding up one spot and taking Tristan Wirfs, who has played better than the three tackles taken ahead of him.

So before we start making picks, we can identify which tackles likely won’t be there at 14, given the strength of the position and the sheer number of teams that could use an upgrade at tackle. Notre Dame’s Joe Alt, generally seen as the best of this class, won’t likely last beyond the Titans at No. 7 and could go to the Chargers at 5. It’s reasonable to think that New Orleans will get one of the next three: Oregon State’s Taiese Fuaga, Penn State’s Olu Fashanu or Alabama’s JC Latham.

Again, it’s not about whom the Saints like best, but rather who’s left for them at 14, knowing their draft capital is limited this year, which makes it harder to trade up. Realistically, they’ll do well to get the third tackle off the board, though it easily could be the fourth.

With that, let’s take a run through the Saints’ draft.

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Publish date : 2024-04-01 13:52:25

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