2012 NFL Draft: Who do the New Orleans Saints take with their first pick?
The New Orleans Saints do not have a first round pick in this year’s NFL Draft due to the team trading up to get Mark Ingram in last year’s NFL Draft. The Saint first pick will come in the 2nd round with the 59th pick. Although they have no first round pick they should still be able to find a quality player to draft with the 59th pick. Now the question is who the Saints draft with their first pick. I think you first have to look at the position the Saints need the most; and I would argue that the Saints should draft a linebacker with their first pick.
Some prospects that the Saints should consider for the linebacker position:
Travis Lewis, 6’2″ 227 lbs. OLB Oklahoma: Travis Lewis would be an excellent pick up for the Saints and should be available at 59. Lewis has recorded 445 tackles and 9 interceptions during his career at Oklahoma. Lewis could afford to put on some weight at the next level but he is an athletic linebacker that should give the Saints some explosiveness on the weak side. In addition to Lewis’s tackling ability he has a great eye for the ball and he is always good for an interception or pass deflection. If the Saints go with Lewis they will have a young energetic linebacker to help as they overhaul their defensive makeup.
Sean Spence, 6’0″ 224 lbs. OLB Miami: During his career at the University of Miami Sean Spence recorded a total of 317 tackles and 1 interception. Of those 317 tackles 216 of them came during his junior and senior season as he recorded 110 and 106 tackles respectively. Spence is a player who has a lot of potential even if he is undersized. Despite his size he has great speed and in today’s NFL game speed is crucial. If his last two seasons at Miami is any indication it shows that Spence is on the rise and should continue his improvement in the NFL. Should the Saints go with Spence at the 59 pick they would draft a linebacker with great versatility and a high ceiling.
Danny Trevathan, 6’1″ 232 lbs. OLB Kentucky: Danny Trevathan recorded 143 tackles in his last season at Kentucky, one less than his junior season when he recorded 144 tackles. Trevathan is a good pick for the Saints because he should be available at this pick and is an improved tackler; totaling 374 tackles during his time at Kentucky. In addition to his 374 tackles, Trevathan also made 4 interceptions. It seems that in this year’s draft class there are a lot of undersized linebackers and Trevathan seems to be another one of those prospects. However, Trevathan is another linebacker who has great speed and can get in position to make a tackle. Trevathan would be a good pick here for the Saints because the Saints know what they are going to get out of him; good tackling and good speed.
Any one of these prospects would be a good pick up for the Saints and it ultimately comes down to who is on the Saints’ radar and who will be available for the Saints to pick with their 59th pick. All three prospects could afford to put some weight on if they get drafted by the Saints. However, players usually add some bulk and muscle when they get to the NFL so I expect these guys to do the same. Furthermore, these three prospects possess good speed and that will serve them well in the NFL.