By Andrew Schuster @ShootsMcGavin on April 8, 2014
With the 2014 NFL draft just around the corner, let's take a look at some of players who the New Orleans Saints should either target or avoid when they are on the clock with the 27th overall pick.
He probably won't be available by the time the Saints are on the clock, but if he is, Beckham's speed would be a nice addition to their receiving corps. With the departure of Darren Sproles, New Orleans could also use his playmaking ability on the special teams side of the ball. He was a dangerous return man for Les Miles' squad. If he can hold on to the ball better, Beckham has the potential to be an elite receiver in the NFL.
Benjamin is a red zone threat because of his size, but the Saints have that already in TE Jimmy Graham and WR Marques Colston. There were rumors floating around about New Orleans possibly taking Kelvin with the 27th pick. However, I don't like that idea. He is slow and is a poor route runner. There is always room for growth, but I believe that Sean Payton and GM Mickey Loomis should avoid Benjamin come draft day.
New Orleans could definitely use some more depth at the interior linebacker position after Jonathan Vilma was released last month. C.J. Mosley would pair up nicely with the Saints' ILB Curtis Lofton. With the threatening safety duo of Kenny Vaccaro and Jairus Byrd, the addition of Mosley's athleticism up the middle of the defense would fit in well with the Black and Gold.
Lawrence is a versatile athlete and may be a great pickup by the Saints. However, I don't see the speed for him to be a linebacker or the bulk to be a defensive lineman. New Orleans needs to stay away from drafting any outside lineman or linebackers in the first round. Cam Jordan, Akiem Hicks, Junior Galette and Victor Butler are a nice mixture. The Saints need to focus on the interior if they are to draft a front-seven guy in the first round.
I love Jason Verrett at 27. He has excellent ball skills and the ability to undercut routes to make big plays. He is speedy and his aggressiveness will complement defensive coordinator Rob Ryan's playbook. Other than Michigan State's Darqueze Dennard (likely won't be available at 27), Verrett is my favorite corner in the draft. If he is available when the Saints are on the clock, they should consider selecting him.
Kouandjio is an excellent offensive lineman, but the durability of his knee should be concerning for teams, which is why he may fall down the draft board. Regardless, with the re-signing of Zach Strief and the emergence of Terron Armstead, New Orleans should pass on drafting a tackle in the first round. However, there are rumors of them doing so. If his proneness to injury is not an issue, Cyrus has a promising future as an OT in the NFL.
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