The pre-draft hype is just about over and as usual around this time we are all just ready for it to get here. Here's my third and final attempt at predicting the Saints moves. There are a few changes but by and large I'm staying with most of my heavy hitters.
1st round (13th)- Trae Waynes CB Michigan St.
I realize I'm a party of one with this but I'm sticking with my gut and going with Waynes. I think it all boils down to availability and immediate impact. I love Vic Beasley with this selection but with recent news to other outside linebackers, I don't think he is there. As the best cornerback available, it's certainly true that Waynes may also not be available. However, everything I've seen on him has him going anywhere from 11-15. If he is available at 13, the Saints should jump on him. Even with the cornerbacks signed I still think Waynes can make an immediate impact behind starters Keenan Lewis and Brandon Browner.
1st round (31st) – Eli Harold OLB, Virginia
This pick gets a lot more interesting with the recent incident with Shane Ray. If Ray slides this far, the Saints may seriously consider him, but in this mock he either won't be there or the Saints will stay away and take Harold who is graded as the top player in the next tier of pass rushers.
2nd round (44th) – Devin Smith WR Ohio St.
One of my favorite picks in this mock. Smith can get vertical on a defense and make people miss with the ball in his hands. Both are qualities the Saints could use right now. While his route tree is extremely limited, the routes he can run will work beautifully with this offense. I keep going back to the Devery Henderson comparison here.
3rd round (75th)- Denzel Perryman ILB Miami
The Saints are dangerously thin at inside linebacker and could get great value here with Perryman. Rated as late second or third round pick, Perryman would have a chance to compete for playing time right away given the lack of quality depth at the position.
3rd round (78th) – John Miller G Louisville
This seems to be a good spot to address the interior of the offensive line. Miller was a four-year starter at Louisville who was steady, reliable and durable. Exactly what the Saints would want at that position.
5th round (148th)- Nick O'Leary TE Florida St.
As a bit of a throwback tight end, O'Leary may not have the highest of ceilings but Saints fans will love his toughness and grit. I think the description of him as being ‘just a football player' is spot on.
5th round (154th)- Rob Havenstein T Wisconsin
Another spot for the Saints to address the offensive line. Havenstein could come in and compete with Bryce Harris for the backup tackle slot and could eventually be the heir apparent to Zach Strief.
6th round (186th)- Kaleb Eulls DT Mississippi St.
The Saints thought enough of Eulls to bring him in for a pre-draft visit. As a Bulldog he missed one start in three seasons and had three tackles for loss and three sacks in 2014. The Saints could use some depth along the defensive line and Eulls could add it.
7th round (230th)- Bryan Bennett QB SLU