(WVUE) - In a little over a week, the draft will be upon us. Scan through the mock draft circuit and you'll see a wide range of players slotted to the Saints at 11. I've remained steady on the Saints first first round pick but after that things after changed.
1st round (11th)- Derek Barnett EDGE, Tennessee
Christian McCaffery is so tempting here. He would fit so well in Sean Payton's offense. However, I'm sticking with Barnett. The need at pass rush is too great. If available, Barnett has to be the pick for the Saints. An impact player like Barnett could make everything behind him on the Saints defense that much better.
1st round (32nd)- Tre'Davious White CB, LSU
The LSU drought comes to an end with White. The Saints need cornerbacks and White can be a contributor right away.
2nd round (42nd)- Alvin Kamara RB, Tennessee
As I reported in March, the Saints have been very active with Kamara throughout the pre-draft process. For running backs, it's all about style and this draft has plenty of the pass-catching, dual-threat variety. That's exactly the type of weapon that has been missing on this offense since Darren Sproles left after the 2013 season.
PS- I still think this is a spot where a quarterback could be selected if one slips.
3rd round (76th)- Marcus Williams S, Utah
A true centerfielder versed in the art of ball-hawking, Williams would be a terrific pick at 76. His college tape is remarkable as he is always around the ball. In his last two seasons at Utah he finished with ten interceptions and two fumble recoveries. He also made a ton of plays playing the single-high which shows his remarkable range.
3rd round (103rd)- George Kittle TE, Iowa
What a joy it was to watch Kittle on tape. In fact, as a film junkie, I'm mad at myself for not locating it sooner. Kittle is a rare combination of new-school athleticism with old-school fundamentals. He spent most of his college years as an in-line tight end where he took pleasure blocking but also made some incredibly athletic catches in the passing game. He also ran a 4.52 at the Combine. The Saints need at tight end is very underrated.
6th round (196th) – Chad Williams WR, Grambling
A small school unknown who's used the pre-draft process to climb up draft boards. Williams had as high as a fifth round grade and would be a quality selection for the Saints at this spot.
7th round (229th)- Storm Norton T, Toledo
The more I look at the Saints offensive line, the more I think tackle may be the way to go in the draft. The Saints need a successor to Zach Strief at right tackle and could potentially find that player in the same round they found Strief. Like Strief, Norton is tall at 6'8 and could be a late-round player they can develop.