The 2013 NFL Draft is only a few days away, and teams should already have a strong idea for whom they want to draft. For the New Orleans Saints that could mean a number of players, but it appears that it will come down to two. LSU linebacker Barkevious Mingo and Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones are the two most popular names associated with the Saints at this point.
It appears that the Saints will draft one of two of those players, but what if neither is still available with the Saints 15th pick? There is speculation that Mingo might be off the board at 15, making Jones the lock for the Saints’ first round pick. There is a good chance that Jones will be there at 15, but any team ahead of the Saints could decide to snatch him up before he gets to the Saints. If their top two prospects are already off the board, where would the Saints turn their attention to?
The Saints are in desperate need of a pass rusher, and one player that has been climbing up draft boards recently might be available at 15. Florida State defensive end Cornellius “Tank” Carradine would be a solid pick at 15 for the Saints should it come down to him. Furthermore, it was recently reported that the Saints were intrigued with Carradine at the 15th pick.
There is a lot to like about Carradine and when you look at his size, 6-foot-5 265 pounds, you can see why so many teams would be intrigued by him. However, it is not just his size that makes him so impressive, but he is one of the best pass rushers in this year’s draft class and one of the most athletic.
During his senior year with the Seminoles, Carradine had 80 tackles, 13 tackles for a loss, and 11 sacks. Carradine’s production could increase on the next level, and despite tearing his ACL in his senior season, he could be a great pick for any club looking for a good pass rusher. Some say there might not be a fit with the Saints since he was a 4-3 defensive end in college. However, Carradine is extremely versatile and with his skill set could transition to a 3-4 outside linebacker, exactly what the Saints are looking for.
Carradine would make a great backup plan if Mingo and Jones are no longer available at 15. He has great size, athleticism, and versatility and the Saints could definitely use a player like him. Furthermore, Carradine has plenty of upside and could prove to be the difference maker on defense the Saints have been looking for.