NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The mock draft game has already kicked into high gear and we haven't gotten to the NFL Combine yet. Yes, things will drastically change by the time late-April gets here. But nonetheless, at this stage of the game this how I see the Saints' draft playing out.
Noah Spence DE/Edge Eastern Kentucky
True, this is a HUGE risk. But the Saints are desperate for an impact edge player on their defensive line and as the Super Bowl taught us, finding that player could make the rest of their defense that much better. An explosive, athletic pass rusher coming off the edge would complement the two-way style of Cam Jordan on the opposite side. Spence was not on my radar at all until I saw him completely destroy opposing tackles at the Senior Bowl.
Adolphus Washington DT Ohio State
Along with an explosive player off the edge, the Saints could also use a disruptive three-technique along the interior of the defensive line. Remember, the Saints had this in 2013 with Akiem Hicks and Junior Galette and their impact that year was tremendous.
Deion Jones LB LSU
The drought comes to an end! Those Saints fans that double as Tiger fans will finally get their wish, and get an LSU player drafted by the black and gold. Jones is the PERFECT fit at weakside linebacker who can play all three downs next to Stephone Anthony. His ability to cover from that spot would be crucial at that position. With his selection, the full upgrade to the Saints front seven would be complete.
Tyler Higbee TE Western Kentucky
The Saints currently do not have a tight end under contract in 2016 that played a down for them in 2015. Ben Watson and Michael Hoomanawanui are both free agents; Josh Hill is restricted free agent. Regardless of who returns, this could be the perfect spot to add an explosive tight end. His injury is concerning but in the fourth round, it may be worth taking that risk here.
Conner McGovern G Missouri
The release of Jahri Evans leaves an immediate opening at right guard. Plus, the left guard position isn't set with both Tim Lelito and Senio Kelemete as restricted free agents. The Saints would like to address this position in the draft even if they sign a veteran on the free agency market. McGovern fits the bill as a mid-round selection that could step in and compete for a starting job or at the very least become a reliable backup.
Jay Lee WR Baylor
It's starting to look like the future at the wide receiver position for the Saints will be Brandin Cooks, Willie Snead and Brandon Coleman. However, when the Saints were at their best (2009, 2011) they always had four very capable receivers. Jay Lee's size dimensions are different than the other three and perhaps he could be a player that could fit in nicely. The question is will Lee be available this late? That could certainly change as the pre-draft process continues.