NFL New Orleans Saints

New Orleans Saints 2013 NFL Mock Draft, Week 7: 7 Rounds

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New Orleans Saints 2013 NFL Mock Draft

Cameron Jordan
Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

The 2013 NFL draft is less than a week away and teams should have a pretty good idea for who they are going to draft. For the New Orleans Saints there are a few choices that would make a lot of sense, but there is a good chance that the team will draft LSU outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo. However, there have been a few other names thrown around like Georgia’s Jarvis Jones and more recently Florida State’s Xavier Rhodes.

One thing is for sure with the Saints, they need to go defense with their 15th overall pick. While Mingo may be the consensus pick in most mock drafts that does not mean the Saints will select him. Furthermore, it depends on what the other 14 teams ahead of the Saints will do that will ultimately determine whom the Saints will draft.

Some other needs that the Saints need are an offensive tackle, a player for the secondary, and some more depth for their pass-rush. There is plenty of talent available in this year’s draft class and the Saints should have done their homework to determine which players will fit best with their team.

This year’s draft will be especially crucial for the Saints, who only have five picks because they are trying to get back to playoff contention. The Saints will definitely go defense with their first round pick, but the question remains, who will they select? Let’s take a look at the week seven Saints’ 2013 NFL mock draft.

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First Round: Xavier Rhodes, Cornerback, Florida State

Xavier Rhodes
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Saints need to improve their defense overall so it is not out of the question that the team could draft Florida State cornerback Xavier Rhodes. The Saints’ secondary could use a lot of help and Rhodes would definitely improve that area of the defense. Rhodes is a big cornerback at 6-foot-2 217 pounds, but is versatile enough to transition to safety if needed.

If Rhodes fell to the Saints at 15 and the team chose to draft him they could insert him somewhere in the secondary at either cornerback or safety. Furthermore, Rhodes has proven that he can play man-coverage and he covers his assignment well. Rhodes’ physical play and big frame would be huge assets to the Saints’ secondary and he would vastly improve the weak secondary. With the Saints’ current secondary it would not be a surprise for the Saints to draft Rhodes, especially if he is still available.

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Third Round: Trevardo Williams, Outside Linebacker, UCONN

Trevardo Williams
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

One thing that the Saints must improve on is their pass-rush and would need to address that with their third-round pick should they select Rhodes in the first round. UCONN outside linebacker Trevardo Williams would be an excellent pick for the Saints in the third round. Williams posted the fastest 40 time at the combine for linebackers and his athleticism would give the Saints’ defensive line a huge lift.

Williams is a terrific pass-rusher and one of the best in this year’s draft. Despite his size, 6-foot-1 241 pounds, Williams is a natural 3-4 outside linebacker and would fit right in with the Saints’ new defensive scheme. Williams is a great tackler and uses his speed to get to the quarterback, and last season he posted 11.5 sacks for the Huskies. Williams may be undersized, but the Saints should take a chance on him with their third-round pick because he could prove to be a great player for their new-look defense.

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Fourth Round: Xavier Nixon, Offensive Tackle, Florida

Xavier Nixon
Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

The Saints need to pick up an offensive tackle at some point in the draft and their fourth-round pick would be a good time to grab one. Florida offensive tackle Xavier Nixon would make a nice addition to the Saints’ offensive line. Nixon could come in and provide depth right away for the Saints and given his athleticism might be able to challenge for a starting spot.

Standing at 6-foot-6 321 pounds Nixon is huge and can take up a lot of space on the offensive line. Furthermore, Nixon excels in pass protection and that will be vital with the type of offense the Saints run. Bottom line, if the Saints are looking for an offensive tackle in the fourth round Nixon would be a solid pick up and might be able to contribute right away.

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Fifth Round: Joe Kruger, Defensive End, Utah

Joe Kruger
Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

The younger brother of Cleveland Browns linebacker Paul Kruger, Utah’s Joe Kruger could be a late round steal for the Saints. Kruger would be perfect as a 3-4 defensive end and the Saints should be able to get him with their fifth round pick. At 6-foot-6 269 pounds Kruger has an impressive frame and could wreak havoc on opposing offensive linemen on the next level. Last season Kruger posted 30 tackles and six sacks, but his production could improve in the right situation.

The Saints need to add some depth to their defensive line and Kruger would be a solid late-round pick. Kruger could turn out to be a very good player in the NFL and could excel in the Saints’ new defensive system.

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Sixth Round: Denard Robinson, Wide Receiver, Michigan

Denard Robinson
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

It might not be a bad idea for the Saints to draft a wide receiver in this year’s draft. Michigan quarterback turned wide receiver Denard Robinson would be an intriguing pick for the Saints with their sixth-round pick. Robinson has been working out as a wide receiver in preparation for the draft, and although he is not a proven wide receiver he could be a nice pick up for the Saints.

Robinson has exceptional speed and has a good ability to change directions. At 5-foot-11199 pounds Robinson may be a bit undersized, but his athletic ability could make up for his size. Robinson has improved his route-running and is showing scouts that he has good hands to become an effective receiver at the next level. Furthermore, Robinson did play quarterback at Michigan so he could serve as a fourth-string quarterback for the Saints if needed. Robinson’s versatility would be a huge asset for the Saints, and if they can get him with their sixth-round pick Robinson could prove to be a steal for the team.