The Saints have a weird, but great draft slot. Pick #11 is where the premium defensive talent could be gone, but there are lots of possibilities. Washington, Houston, or Arizona could trade up to #11 to get their guy before the Browns. We do have a history of trades with Washington.
We can stand strong and hope that CB Marshon Lattimore or DE Soloman Thomas slide. The most realistic scenario is we take a player at #11 who the draft pundits will call a reach. This draft has 50+ players graded as second rounders. We will have to reach for Defensive Backs and Pass Rushers.
In 3 years no one will remember where these players were drafted. Production and ability are the only numbers that matter. In order to find the right prospects I focus on athletic traits, production, and give team captains extra points.
I am lucky with systems. In 2016 I drafted alongside the Saints in real time. No hindsight 20/20 stuff. I picked as Loomis picked. Here is the link to the original thread, but here is a quick overview.
How analytics would've screwed up this draft.
12 WR Josh Doctson 6'2" 200
- Injuries derailed his rookie year. Still supremely talented.
47 CB Sean Davis 6'1" 200
- A rookie starter for the Steelers. Looks great. He plays CB and SS. Won rookie of the year for them.
78 DT Javon Hargrave 6'1" 310
Another rookie starter for the Steelers. He’s dominant. What a steal for them.
112 OG Connor McGovern Missouri.
- Nothing as a rookie, but the Broncos coaches love him and he is fighting for a starting spot this year.
152 LB Jatavis Brown 5'11" 225 4.38 Akron
Jatavis is the steal of the draft. He won Pepsi rookie of the week a few times. He’s a young Sam Mills for the Chargers. He should have been a Saint.
237 RB Daniel Lasco.
He’s a solid special teamer. A former WR that I hoped would contribute in the passing game. My others were WR Robby Anderson or WR Mitch Mathews here. Anderson had a great rookie year for the Jets. I think Mathews is on the 49ers.
I’ve had good luck with my picks for the last few years. Here’s a simple mock draft for 2017. I’m no TruSaint. This is my one and only.
SAINTS MOCK DRAFT 2017
Round 1, pick 11 - CB/SS Obi Melifonwu 6’4” 220
- Incredible size and agility. He is an excellent overall athlete. He is a rare DB that can physically match up with Julio Jones, Mike Evans, etc. The NFC South is full of freakishly large/fast WR’s.
His floor is a joker defender similar to S Kenny Vaccaro. His ceiling is redefining the CB position prototype. Either way he plays a lot of snaps for a defense that needs speed and size.
ALT: CB Kevin King
Round 1, pick 32 - DE Jordan Willis 6’3” 255
- He has the total package. Size, speed, everything. He looks like a stronger version of Javon Kearse. Very polished and patient player. I enjoy watching him out hustle the offensive players.
I see a lot of draftniks projecting him to the second round. I don't understand it. I take him at 32 and watch as he develops into the best DE in this draft. It might take a year like Vic Beasley, but the skill and work ethic is there.
ALT: EDGE T.J. Watt
Round 2, Pick 10 (42nd overall) - FS/CB Desmond King 5’10” 200
- Good zone corner. Tremendous instincts, and will be a team leader fast. He should switch to FS like Malcolm Jenkins. At FS he can be dominant, but also fill in at CB in case of injuries. He's a shorter and better tackling version of Malcolm Jenkins. A steal in the second round.
ALT: FS Marcus Williams
Round 3, Pick 12 (76th overall) - TE Bucky Hodges 6’7” 260
- Super fast. Looks and plays like a more physical Jimmy Graham. He’d be a midseason starter with Payton calling plays.
ALT: RB Donta Foreman
Round 3, Pick 39 (103rd overall) - WR Chris Godwin 6'1" 210
- Great blocker who loves the dirty work of playing WR. He has 4.4 deep speed and high points the ball on contested catches.
He is what Robert Meachem was at his peak, but Godwin will get better. I love this kid. One of the best WR’s in this draft. A steal in the 3rd.
ALT: RB Jeremy Mcnichols
Past the top 100 it’s almost impossible to predict player availability, but here goes...
Round 6, Pick 12 (196th overall) S Xavier Woods 5'11" 200
- Smart man. Great work ethic. Very agile athlete. Can be over aggressive and miss tackles. He will excel on special teams. A high potential player.
Round 7, Pick 11 (229th overall) WR Robert Davis 6'3" 220
- Big, fast physical freak. A boom or bust type that we should draft late to increase team speed.
Those are my draft targets. It doesn’t address OT, but the OL in this draft are horrible. I’d grab a few UDFA offensive linemen. I’d love to draft another pass rusher, but I think they will go fast. DB’s are our biggest need. Vaccaro and Rafael Bush are both Free Agents next year. Let’s plan ahead.
Also we grabbed two players late in 2016 who could excel in our defense. I consider these guys part of our 2017 rookie class.
WLB Travis Feeney 6’4” 230
- Tremendous athlete. Smart. Primarily a coverage LB, but has the ability to blitz. I liked him in the draft last year. Glad that we stole him off the Steelers Practice Squad as they geared up for a playoff run.
High potential player. He could be the WLB starter once Ellerbe gets hurt.
DE/DT Justin Zimmer 6’3” 290
- Highest sparq score for all 2016 DL rookies. A powerful, explosive player with short arms. NOFalcons thinks he should be converted to a Justin Smith type of power DE. Zimmer could thrive in that role.
Thanks for reading all this. I don’t normally do mock drafts, but I had free time today. I hope someone digs it. It took me a while. There are a lot of smart readers on here. Let me know what y’all think.
Have a great day,