The New Orleans Saints are set to host a number of defensive back prospects today, including Oklahoma State CB Justin Gilbert. Gilbert ranks among the top cornerbacks in this year’s draft. He is not likely to fall down to the Saints’ pick at No. 27 overall, but if coach Sean Payton and GM Mickey Loomis see something special in the kid, New Orleans could very well trade up and acquire him. I don’t see a scenario like that happening, however, the NFL Draft will forever be gorged with surprises. The speedy defender certainly possesses the athletic ability to excel in the NFL and would be a superb pickup by any team in the market for a corner. Let’s examine Gilbert and take a peek at the talent he would bring to the table, if the Saints were able to get their hands on him.
Arm Length: 33 1/8-inches
Hand Size: 8 5/8-inches
40-Yard Dash: 4.37-seconds
Vertical Jump: 35.5-inches
Gilbert was a Second Team All-American and First Team All-Big 12 selection in 2013. However, he is a higher prospect than most because of his exemplary size to speed ratio. His quick feet and explosiveness grants him the ability to cut in on routes and haul in the interception. In 2013 alone, Gilbert racked up a total of 42 tackles, seven interceptions, seven passes defended and two touchdowns. Last year’s Jim Thorpe Award finalist (nation’s top defensive back) has the attributes of an elite, shutdown corner and is probably more NFL ready than any other draft prospect at his position.
Gilbert would be a superb addition to a threatening secondary that consists of emerging shutdown CB Keenan Lewis, 12-time Pro Bowl CB Champ Bailey, elite FS Jairus Byrd and SS Kenny Vaccaro, who came onto the scene quickly in his rookie year. Trading up would almost be worth it, but we’ll have to wait until May 8 to find out what the Saints have planned.