7-round mock draft for the Saints, with a Cardinals-Sean Payton commerce proposal

Final week we explored how a New Orleans Saints mock draft could possibly be impacted by buying and selling Sean Payton to the Denver Broncos. This time round we’re proposing the same commerce with the Arizona Cardinals, after which going by all seven rounds to discover numerous prospects who could also be on the Saints’ radar.

We’re additionally making an attempt to place an emphasis on gamers who will probably be competing on the Senior Bowl practices and all-star recreation this week, the place a number of Saints coaches are going to be in attendance getting hands-on expertise. That restricted our participant pool a bit, nevertheless it ended up highlighting some actually attention-grabbing abilities seeking to go professional. Let’s get to it:

The Sean Payton commerce

Right here’s what we’ve got the Saints coming back from Arizona on this state of affairs:

  • 2023 second spherical decide (No. 34)

  • 2023 third spherical decide (No. 66)

  • 2023 fourth spherical decide (No. 104)

That’s akin to what we had the Broncos buying and selling to New Orleans in final week’s mock draft, however the Cardinals are paying a barely steeper worth to maintain Payton within the NFC by not getting the Saints’ fourth rounder like Denver did. It is a lot for Arizona to surrender, certain, however they’ll nonetheless maintain onto the third general decide in addition to one of the best compensatory decide after dropping Christian Kirk final 12 months — they usually’ll have Payton on the helm.

Your up to date picks for the Saints now embrace:

  • Spherical 2, decide 34 (through Arizona)

  • Spherical 2, decide 41

  • Spherical 3, decide 66 (through Arizona)

  • Spherical 3, decide 71

  • Spherical 4, decide 104 (through Arizona)

  • Spherical 4, decide 114

  • Spherical 5, decide 146

  • Spherical 5, decide 166 (through Philadelphia)

  • Spherical 7, decide 228

  • Spherical 7, decide 259 (compensatory)

Getting on the board six occasions in an 80-slot vary would make the Saints probably the most highly effective groups on the draft’s second day, giving them a capability to load up with instant-impact gamers at a number of positions whereas retaining the flexibleness to make extra trades whereas concentrating on particular prospects. With the Miami Dolphins forfeiting their first rounder, that No. 34 decide from the Cardinals ought to give the Saints a shot at a participant who would most likely go within the opening body throughout a traditional 12 months.

Spherical 2, decide 34 (through Arizona): WR Rashee Rice, SMU

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports activities

I perceive when you’re leery of SMU large receivers, however Rice is productive sufficient to dismiss these fears. He’s a stronger participant with a wider catch radius than Chris Olave and Rashid Shaheed — Rice ranked amongst this 12 months’s leaders in contested catches (16) and he excelled on targets touring 20-plus yards downfield, catching 18 of them. He’s additionally a dynamic blocker with 887 reps as a run blocker during the last 4 years, so he can take that position from Tre’Quan Smith whereas remaining a really critical risk within the passing recreation. He’s taking part in on the American Group on the Senior Bowl.

Spherical 2, decide 41: Traded to the New York Giants

I acquired a really tempting commerce provide on this spot from the New York Giants, who provided up their decide on the again finish of this spherical (No. 57) and their 2024 second rounder in trade for the No. 41 decide and our fifth rounder at No. 146. And I believe this can be a very uncommon case the place the Saints can be prepared to commerce down. It’s solely a 16-slot drop they usually don’t have a second-round decide in 2024 after buying and selling it to the Eagles final 12 months. I’m not sweating a fifth rounder so as to add a possible top-50 decide within the subsequent cycle.

For what it’s value, if I had stayed put right here one of the best prospects accessible included Florida defensive sort out Gervon Dexter, Georgia go rusher Nolan Smith, and USC defensive lineman Tuli Tuipulotu. Any of them can be a pleasant addition to the Saints defensive entrance, however we don’t know the way their preferences will change after dropping Ryan Nielsen this offseason.

Spherical 2, decide 57 (through NY Giants): OL John Michael Schmitz, Minnesota

John Fisher/Getty Photos

Schmitz simply has the feel and appear of a Saints draft decide, doesn’t he? He’s a profession heart at Minnesota who has snapped the ball some 2,491 occasions as a Golden Gopher, however he could possibly be a more-than-capable alternative for Andrus Peat at left guard in New Orleans if the Saints select to maneuver on from his bloated contract. Or they may prepared him to take over at proper guard in the event that they don’t plan on re-signing Cesar Ruiz as soon as his rookie contract is up in a 12 months or two. Inside line depth has been a problem with Peat, Ruiz, and beginning heart Erik McCoy all lacking a number of video games the final two years. Search for Schmitz on the American Group at apply.

Spherical 3, decide 66 (through Arizona): S Ji’Ayir Brown, Penn State

Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports activities

Marcus Maye’s prolonged harm historical past and looming suspension makes security a precedence (to not point out he and Tyrann Mathieu are each halfway by three-year contracts), and Brown would convey the type of vary that’s been lacking within the Saints go protection. He’s received actual ball expertise with 10 interceptions during the last two years. After primarily taking part in within the field in 2021, he made a clean transition to extra alignments deep downfield in 2022. And he solely rushed the passer 51 occasions however got here away with 15 pressures and 5 sacks final season. Brown accepted his Senior Bowl invitation however his crew project hasn’t been introduced.

Spherical 3, decide 71: DL Adetomiwa Adebawore, Northwestern

Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports activities

Right here’s a man who appears to be like similar to what the Saints have valued at defensive finish. Adebawore ideas the scales at 6-foot-2 and 280 kilos, and he’s coming off back-to-back seasons with 30-plus pressures (and 11 sacks), per PFF charting. He’s lined up inside on the three-technique spot and in addition slid out to the sting for Northwestern, and he’ll get to indicate off that versatility with the Nationwide Group roster this week.

Spherical 4, decide 104 (through Arizona): QB Jaren Corridor, BYU

Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports activities

Corridor is older for a prospect and will probably be a 25-year outdated rookie, however he throws an correct soccer and exhibits good decision-making by not placing it in hurt’s approach (simply 20 interceptable passes on 718 profession makes an attempt, per PFF). Corridor will probably be coached by Nationwide Group offensive coordinator Ronald Curry (the Saints’ passing recreation coordinator and quarterbacks coach) and quarterbacks coach D.J. Williams (an offensive assistant for New Orleans) all week.

Spherical 4, decide 114: RB Tyjae Spears, Tulane

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports activities

The Saints want a change-of-pace again to spell Alvin Kamara, and I like Spears’ worth at this level within the draft. He’s a home-run risk who compelled 63 missed tackles on simply 231 makes an attempt final 12 months, averaging a surprising 6.9 yards per carry. He must show his measurement isn’t a problem at 5-foot-11 and 190 kilos. Spears will play for the American Group roster.

Spherical 5, decide 146: Traded to NY Giants

Current fifth rounders for the Saints embrace linebacker D’Marco Jackson (missed his 2022 rookie season with an harm), security Natrell Jamerson (solely performed 21 video games with New Orleans earlier than being launched), linebacker Davis Tull (by no means received right into a recreation), and nostril sort out Tyeler Davison (who continues to be hanging round within the league, good for him). Buying and selling this decide is value it if it helps get a second rounder in 2024.

Spherical 5, decide 166 (through Philadelphia): DE Dylan Horton, TCU

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports activities

Horton is coming off of a wildly productive 2022 season with the Horned Frogs, the place PFF credited him with 48 whole pressures and 10 sacks. He’s a highschool large receiver who bulked as much as 275 kilos and boasts 33-inch arms, which can serve him properly within the professionals. He has been assigned to the American Group roster on the Senior Bowl.

Spherical 7, decide 228: TE Will Mallory, Miami

AP Picture/John Raoux

Mallory solely scored 3 landing catches final 12 months, however he transformed a primary down on 25 of his 42 receptions and posted a catch charge of 71.2%. He isn’t a lot of a blocker however he brings a vertical ingredient actually solely shared among the many Saints tight ends by Juwan Johnson, who’s a restricted free agent. He has been assigned to the American Group roster the place he’ll work with Saints offensive assistant coach Declan Doyle.

Spherical 7, decide 259 (compensatory): CB Darrell Luter Jr., South Alabama

Chris Graythen/Getty Photos

Luter suits the Saints’ prototype very well, being listed at 6-foot-flat and 190 kilos with lengthy arms. He has some ball expertise with 5 profession interceptions and 17 go breakups, however he’s additionally a little bit penalty-prone with 6 flags in his profession. He’s been an vital particular groups participant for South Alabama and can get alternatives to indicate these expertise on the Senior Bowl’s American Group roster.

Recapping our mock draft

  • Spherical 2, decide 34 (through Arizona): WR Rashee Rice, SMU

  • Spherical 2, decide 57 (through NY Giants): OL John Michael Schmitz, Minnesota

  • Spherical 3, decide 66 (through Arizona): S Ji’Ayir Brown, Penn State

  • Spherical 3, decide 71: DL Adetomiwa Adebawore, Northwestern

  • Spherical 4, decide 104 (through Arizona): QB Jaren Corridor, BYU

  • Spherical 4, decide 114: RB Tyjae Spears, Tulane

  • Spherical 5, decide 146: Traded to NY Giants

  • Spherical 5, decide 166 (through Philadelphia): DE Dylan Horton, TCU

  • Spherical 7, decide 228: TE Will Mallory, Miami

  • Spherical 7, decide 259 (compensatory): CB Darrell Luter Jr., South Alabama

How’s that? We managed to flip Payton for a pleasant haul of picks and used them to additional enhance the receiving corps whereas reinforcing the trenches on each side of the ball, and including a quarterback who would possibly be capable of assist out. We’ve gotten extra explosive at working again and we’re deeper at tight finish and within the secondary. The Saints haven’t traded down since 2007, however that streak has to finish ultimately, proper? They want all of the picks they’ll get to refit this roster and play aggressive soccer once more.

Story originally appeared on Saints Wire

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