NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - First round (28th ) Zaven Collins LB, Tulsa
A three-down linebacker with great size and explosiveness. What jumped out most was how well Collins moved for a guy that’s 6′4 and 260 pounds. He’s a true three-down linebacker who can stop the run, blitz and is very productive in pass coverage. His overtime pick-six that beat Tulane was an incredible play.
I had three cornerbacks on my list as first round worthy picks the Saints could target but did not feel confident any of them would be available at 28. With a hole at linebacker, Collins could be an instant impact guy.
Second Round (60th) Eric Stokes CB, Georgia
Stokes’ ability to play man coverage would be a good fit for the Saints need on the outside. He had four interceptions last season for the Bulldogs. The Saints absolutely need to add a cornerback in this draft. The only question is will he be available this late in the second round?
Third Round (98th compensatory) Tyler Shelvin DT, LSU
Losing Malcom Brown will have a bigger impact on the Saints defense than many realize. The Saints will need to add a run-stuffing nose tackle. Shelvin can be a beast when motivated. That will be key for him. At 98, he’s worth the risk for the Saints.
Third Round (105th compensatory)- Davis Mills QB, Stanford
No one knows exactly how the Saints will approach drafting a quarterback this year. Mills is an interesting study. He only has 11 games to evaluate on film at Stanford. I watched two different tape reviews and read three different scouts grades on Mills, and they’re all over the place. Some have him rising into the second round, while others wouldn’t touch him before day three. With the final pick in the third round, this feels like a safe place for a developmental prospect should the Saints choose to bypass one earlier. Mills has great size and ability to extend plays. He’s also pretty efficient at throws between the seams.
Fourth Round (133rd) - Anthony Schwartz WR Auburn
Schwartz flashed elite speed at his pro day. His production was a little uneven at Auburn but his ability to stretch a defense could be a great fit for the 2021 Saints offense.
Sixth Round (218th compensatory) Matt Bushman TE, BYU
A torn achilles kept him out of action last season so he didn’t benefit from Zach Wilson’s prolific 2020 year. Still, Bushman can get downfield and catch the football. At this stage of the draft, he may be worthy of a pick.
Seventh Round (229th from Jacksonville) Elijah Mitchell RB, UL
A very steady runner with great balance and the ability to break tackles. Mitchell doesn’t have homerun speed but he does have good vision and an understanding of the zone run game. He’s not as tall as Latavius Murray but has a similar running style.
Seventh Round (255th) Tommy Doyle T, Miami (OH)
The Saints close out the draft by adding some depth to their offensive line with Doyle.
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