(WVUE) - The time has come for my third and final mock draft. Free agency is mostly complete and while the Saints still have some needs they will remain committed to their 'best player' approach. Here's my best guess on how things shake out.
Round One (27th) Mike Gesicki, Tight End Penn St.
First things first, I really wanted cornerback Josh Jackson with this selection. I just don't think he is going to be around at 27. If he is available, then the Saints should take him. Secondly, I'm not sure why all of a sudden the idea of taking a tight end in the first round is a terrible one. If he's the best available, then why not?
I'd been going with Dallas Goedert up until this mock draft. But then I went back and checked Gesicki's tape after his ridiculous NFL Combine numbers. Sometimes that doesn't translate to the field, but in Gesicki's case it does. You can clearly see the leaping ability and speed on tape. It especially shows up in the red zone. It's easy to visualize the way Payton would use him in this offense.
Round Three ( 91st) Tyquan Lewis, EDGE Ohio St.
The Saints' run on Buckeyes continues with the selection of Lewis. He's been incredibly productive in Columbus with 34 sacks over the last three years. He would be a nice compliment to Cam Jordan and provide good value here.
Round Four (127th) R.J. McIntosh, Defensive tackle Miami
The grades on McIntosh are all over the place, but on tape he is disruptive. He showed an impressive ability to slice through blockers and disrupt plays, especially against the run. He finished the year with 12.5 tackles for loss. Having him join Saints Sheldon Rankins, Tyeler Davison and David Onyemata at the position could form a solid rotation.
Round Five (147th) Parry Nickerson CB Tulane
At 5'10, Nickerson doesn't have the ideal size the Saints typically target with their outside corners. But his 16 interceptions over his career at Tulane could make Nickerson the exception. The West Jefferson product impressed scouts with his 4.3 40 at the NFL Combine and was recruited by Saints wide receivers coach Curtis Johnson.
Round Five (164th ) Bo Scarbough RB Alabama
The Saints could a use a big, bruising type back to complement Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara. His Alabama ties would fit right in with Ingram and Kamara, who started his collegiate career in Tuscaloosa.
Round Six (189th) Will Clapp, Center/Guard LSU
Given what happened last season and the loss of Senio Kelemete, the Saints must address depth along their offensive line. Clapp can provide nice versatility as an interior lineman and could be the heir apparent to Max Unger.
Round Six (201st) Trey Quinn, WR SMU
I thought the Saints would target a slot receiver even if Snead had stayed. Now that he's in Baltimore, this team could definitely use a smaller guy that can move the sticks on underneath type routes. Quinn's decision to transfer from LSU to SMU worked wonders for his collegiate career as he led the nation in receptions last season.
Round Seven (245th) Bentley Spain, T North Carolina
Drafting two offensive linemen wouldn't be the worst idea for the Saints given the lack of depth at the position. Spain was a solid starter at UNC that could eventually develop into either a starter or sixth offensive lineman in time.