After grabbing potentially the quarterback of the future at No. 16, the Saints bolster the wide receiver group.
When the New Orleans Saints were on the clock with the 16th overall pick, they knew they were guaranteed at least one of a trio of wide receivers when they pick again with the 19th pick. That decision was then made for them.
With Alabama WR Jameson Williams and Ohio State WR Chris Olave selected right behind (and in front) of the Saints, that left Olave’s teammate, Garrett Wilson, as the lone remaining option of the three.
If the Saints indeed want a wide receiver with this pick, other options include Arkansas WR Treylon Burks and Penn State WR Jahan Datson, but New Orleans’s fascination with RAS (“Relative Athletic Score”) probably eliminates both from consideration in this scenario considering both had only average (~6) scores after their respective Pro Days. Garrett Wilson is far from elite, but with a RAS of 7.7, he profiles closer to the type of receiver the Saints would gravitate towards.
Garrett Wilson’s RAS metrics profile similarly, albeit a little better, to former Saints receiver Kenny Stills — poor height/weight, elite speed, average explosiveness — and the Saints would probably be perfectly fine adding a player like prime Kenny Stills to their offense. Wilson’s ceiling is far from capped by this RAS score, though, as some of the NFL’s best receivers had lower RAS scores than Wilson – Davante Adams, Cooper Kupp, and Stefon Diggs, to name just a few.
The Saints could go other routes with the 19th pick, and don’t necessarily need to add a receiver here. Instead, the Saints could try to find a high-RAS receiver with the 49th pick and address other needs here. However, New Orleans has tried in the past to add mid-round receivers (Tre’Quan Smith, anyone?), so in this mock, the Saints instead choose to draft something closer to a “sure thing.” If New Orleans were going to pass on wide receiver here, other players considered would be Central Michigan’s OT Bernhard Raimann and DT Devonte Wyatt out of Georgia.
Pro Football Network has Garrett Wilson as their top receiver in this year’s draft class. Wilson’s elite speed (4.38 40-yard-dash at the combine) would match well with Jameis Winston in New Orleans in 2022 and Kenny Pickett for 2023 and beyond. Both quarterbacks would be able to throw the ball deep down the field to allow Wilson to get behind the opposing defense and high-point the ball to compensate for his 6’ frame. Mel Kiper has Wilson as the 12th-best prospect in this year’s draft class and the second WR behind only USC’s Drake London. To have Wilson available at the 19th pick is still a steal for New Orleans.