National analysts project the Saints picks a week out from the NFL Draft
LOUISIANA (KPLC) - The 2020 NFL Draft is set to begin April 23 with it being the league’s first full virtual experience with teams working from their homes. With the draft just over a week away we’ll check out mock drafts for the New Orleans Saints from national analysts to see where the Black and Gold might go with the 24th overall pick.
A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson (Mel Kiper, ESPN)
Brady’s take: The Saints could use some help at CB with the loss of Eli Apple to free agency. Terrell is a big athletic corner that should fit the Saints scheme. While Janoris Jenkins will likely be the starter opposite Marshon Lattimore, Terrell could give the Saints another key piece to pair with Lattimore for the future.
Kenneth Murray, ILB, Oklahoma (Todd McShay, ESPN)
Brady’s take: This would be an interesting fit on multiple fronts. The Saints have room at the position to improve especially with how injuries derailed them a season ago. While Murray is listed as an inside backer by McShay, he may best project to an outside linebacker in the Saints’ 4-3 scheme.
Patrick Queen, LB, LSU (Daniel Jeremiah, NFL Network)
Brady’s take: This selection is one that would make many Saints fan happy. Queen would be the first first-round LSU pick in Saints history and the highest selection since Devery Henderson (second round) in 2004. Queen’s fit would be similar to Murray although experience is on the Sooner’s side on this one.
Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State (Peter Schrager, NFL Network)
Brady’s take: In today’s NFL you can never have enough weapons which makes Aiyuk’s selection an interesting one. With Sanders’ signing, there is no pressing need at WR but getting a productive WR (65 receptions, 1,192 yards, eight TD) in at the 3-spot would make Brees’ life a lot easier.
Jordan Love, QB, Utah State (Bucky Brooks, NFL Network)
Brady’s take: Boy would this start a heated debate, but Brooks is on to something. We know Brees isn’t long for the NFL, so the Saints need to have the future secured as soon as possible and maybe that guy is already on the roster in Taysom Hill. Likely, Hill isn’t the long-term answer so getting a guy with upside like Love this late in the first round would be a home run.
Patrick Queen, LB, LSU (Charles Davis, NFL Network)
Brady’s take: This would be the other side of that debate.
Ross Blacklock, DT, TCU (Walter Cherepinsky, Walterfootball.com)
Brady’s take: Saints hit the defensive line up in this mock draft with the team selecting an interior rusher. While this would not be a popular pick among fans, Blacklock would likely be a great fit on what would be an absolutely stacked front four. He is noted for his strong pass rush abilities and potential.
Jordan Love, QB, Utah State (Matt Miller, Bleacher Report)
Brady’s take: Another Saints-Love pairing and in my opinion, I think it’d be a solid pick. However, to get Love, the Saints would likely need to trade up because in all these mock drafts, there is no trading.
Kenneth Murray, ILB, Oklahoma (Bryan DeArdo, CBS Sports)
Brady’s take: This exercise was one that allowed trading, but DeArdo had the Saints standing back and picking a LB.
Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama (Sam Monson and Steve Palazzolo, PFF)
Brady’s take: As mentioned, McKinney would serve in the Malcolm Jenkins role in the future, and for now, would need to be plugged in in various ways to take advantage of his coverage skills. McKinney is regarded as the best pure safety in the draft and should be a cornerstone for a franchise.
Patrick Queen, LB, LSU (Michael Renner, PFF)
Brady’s take: Renner actually did a three-round mock draft. His list of Saints’ picks.
1. Round 1: Patrick Queen, LB, LSU
2. Round 3: Antonio Gibson, WR/RB, Memphis
Queen’s fit would be a good one in the Saints’ defense and to note, Jordan Love went a pick before to the Patriots in this mock. The third-round pick (the Saints’ second-round selection belongs to Miami in the Erik McCoy deal last year) is a versatile chess piece reminiscent to Darren Sproles, Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas. Those backs were much more running back than receiver, but Gibson could be used in a similar fashion.
Jordan Love, QB, Utah State (Jenny Vrentas, Sports Illustrated)
Brady’s take: Love to the Saints is a popular pick. Although as I mentioned before, they will likely have to trade up to get their guy.
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