The New Orleans Saints were a Rams Week 17 win away from making the playoffs. Instead, they were the first team out and now they are missing their long-time head coach, Sean Payton. Defensive coordinator Dennis Allen takes over as the boss this year.
The Saints currently have eight draft picks. This isn’t how they are used to operating. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them move a pick or two on or before draft day.
Let’s see how it plays out.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS: 7-ROUND MOCK DRAFT
1-18: Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama
The Saints need a game-breaker at WR. While I thought they might part ways with Michael Thomas, his recent contract re-structure may prevent that from happening. Williams was one of the most dynamic playmakers in the nation this year before an ACL tear sidelined him in the national title game. How long will he be out of action? That is the biggest question. The Saints may be able to absorb that time to get his skillset.
2-49: Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati
The Saints signed Jameis Winston to a one-year deal before last season and saw an ACL tear cut that year short. Sean Payton’s pet project, Taysom Hill, ain’t it. Last year’s 4th- round pick, Ian Book, isn’t great either. Desmond Ridder is a mobile and accurate passer. He led Cincinnati to the first playoff berth for a non-Power Five team. Ridder could be the Saints QB of the future.
3-100: Braxton Jones, OT, Southern Utah
The New Orleans Saints have had good luck with lower-level offensive line draft picks through the years with players like Terron Armstead and Jahri Evans. Braxton Jones looked out of sorts at times during Senior Bowl week but the raw tools are there. Maybe not in 2022, but if drafted by New Orleans, Jones would be in line to replace Armstead, who is a free agent.
4-118: Cam Taylor-Britt, CB, Nebraska
THE REST OF THE DRAFT
4-136: Eyioma Uwazurike, DL, Iowa State
5-160: Quentin Lake, S, UCLA
6-213: Ja’Tyre Carter, G, Southern
7-234: Tre Turner, WR, Virginia Tech