New Orleans Saints 2013 NFL Mock Draft, Week 2: 7 Rounds
New Orleans Saints 2013 NFL Mock Draft Week 2
The New Orleans Saints so far still only have five picks in the 2013 NFL Draft, and while defense is still a major concern, there may be other areas worth looking into. The Saints had a historically awful secondary last season and are looking to make major upgrades.
The Saints got off to a good start in free agency when they landed former Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Keenan Lewis. Lewis led the NFL last season in passes defended with 23 but has only made one career interception in four seasons. Nevertheless, Lewis is definitely an upgrade for the Saints secondary and should be able to come in and help right away.
With the signing of Lewis, the Saints’ draft selections might be changing slightly. Furthermore, the Saints are hosting free agent cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha today with the hopes of signing him. If the Saints can sign Asomugha, perhaps there will not be such a dire need to draft players for their secondary.
Would it be possible that the Saints are looking to bring in an offensive tackle to replace Jermon Bushrod? It is definitely something to consider and the Saints could use their 15th overall pick to get a high quality offensive tackle. However, the Saints must improve at defensive end and are in desperate need of quality pass rushers.
With this year’s draft class full of good pass rushers, maybe the Saints can afford to hold off on drafting a pass rusher with their first pick and go after an offensive tackle. Whatever the case may be, the Saints still have a lot of areas in which they can improve on and the draft will be a great place to start.
First Round: Lane Johnson, Offensive Tackle, Oklahoma
The Saints might want to consider using their first pick on an offensive tackle. Lane Johnson out of Oklahoma should be available for them at 15 and is one of the best offensive tackles in the country. Furthermore, at 6’6” 305 pounds Johnson has great size to play left tackle, but he is also very athletic.
Johnson has proven that he can excel in pass protection and also does a great job in run blocking. If the Saints are looking for an immediate replacement for Jermon Bushrod, they should look no further than Johnson. Given his athletic ability and size he would be the perfect prospect to insert at left tackle to protect Drew Brees’ blindside.
Third Round: Jamie Collins, Linebacker, Southern Miss
If the Saints go with an offensive tackle with their first pick, they need to go for defense the rest of the way. Linebacker Jamie Collins out of Southern Miss makes a lot of sense for the Saints with their third round pick. As a senior, Collins had 92 tackles, 10 sacks, and four forced fumbles and he could be a steal for the Saints. Collins is fast and strong and has a knack for getting to the quarterback.
With the Saints switching to a 3-4 defensive alignment, Collins would fit in nicely as an outside linebacker. The Saints need to bring in some pass rushers and the 6’3” 250-pound Collins would be the perfect pick if the Saints can get him with their third round selection. Collins' speed and strength would make him a nice weapon to have as an outside linebacker for the Saints’ new defense.
Fourth Round: Joe Kruger, Defensive End, Utah
Continuing with the defensive theme, the Saints need to grab another pass rusher that can fit into their 3-4 scheme. Defensive end Joe Kruger out of Utah would be an intriguing prospect for the Saints and should be available with their fourth round pick. Kruger is tall and athletic and uses his 6’6” 269 pound frame to get to the quarterback or swat down a few passes. During his junior season, Kruger totaled 30 tackles, six sacks, one blocked kick, and one interception.
Kruger’s greatest strength is his athletic ability as he is quick and strong enough to bull rush offensive linemen and get to the quarterback. In the NFL, Kruger would fit perfectly as a 3-4 defensive end and the Saints should consider drafting him. Some things Kruger will need to work on is adding more weight to his frame and improving his technique. Kruger may be a little raw, but he has a lot of upside that could help the Saints’ defense.
Fifth Round: Earl Wolff, Safety, North Carolina State
If the Saints are looking for a safety in the fifth round, Earl Wolff out of North Carolina State would fit the Bill. Wolff is very fast and at 6-foot 208 pounds has great size for a safety. The Saints still need some help and depth in the secondary, and Wolff would bring a lot to the table.
During his senior season, Wolff had a whopping 119 tackles to go along with seven passes defended, one forced fumble, and two interceptions. Wolff is a physical safety that knows how to bring down his defender. Furthermore, Wolff excels in zone coverage but would need to improve in Rob Ryan’s man-coverage system. Wolff had an excellent showing in the East-West Shrine game and would be a solid pick up for the Saints in the fifth round.
Sixth Round: Kenny Okoro, Cornerback, Wake Forest
With their last pick, the Saints should draft a cornerback to add depth to their secondary. The Saints should seriously consider taking a look at Wake Forest cornerback Kenny Okoro. At 6’1” 190 pounds Okoro has great size for his position and could prove to be a late round steal for the Saints.
As a senior, Okoro posted 53 tackles and two interceptions. One thing scouts love about him is his intelligence. Okoro understands technique and that could help him on the next level. Furthermore, Okoro has the physical skills needed to play cornerback. The Saints should definitely take a look at him come time for their sixth round pick.
Alejandro Aviles is the Featured Writer for the New Orleans Saints at Rant Sports @aaviles312