Two big-time play-makers
Another week, another mock draft. The 2021 NFL Draft is getting closer and closer, with the Jacksonville Jaguars set to go on the clock with the first overall pick at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 29th.
By the time the New Orleans Saints are on the clock with the 28th overall pick, it’s hard to know who exactly will be available and who would best fit in with the Saints needs. For Mel Kiper and his recent two-round mock for ESPN (Insider required), he thinks the Saints will be able (and willing) to grab Tulsa linebacker Zalen Collins:
Zaven Collins, OLB/DE, Tulsa
The Saints haven’t been able to add players this offseason because of their salary-cap constraints, so this is their best chance to get a player who can make an immediate impact. They have to hit on their pick if they want to extend their championship window with Drew Brees retired. Collins is a versatile linebacker who was the only FBS player to have at least four sacks and four interceptions last season. He wasn’t asked to rush the passer much, but he still got four sacks. He could play outside or middle linebacker for New Orleans. He’s a fun defender to watch.
Many other popular names were already off the board for the Saints in this mock, with Kentucky LB Jamin Davis going to the Browns at 26, Northwestern CB Greg Newsome II going to the Jets at 23 (after a trade with Seattle), Ole Miss WR Elijah Moore going to the Tennessee Titans at 22, Notre Dame LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah going to Washington 19th overall, and Virginia Tech CB Caleb Farley going to the Arizona Cardinals 16th overall (one spot after Jaycee Horn to the Cowboys).
After foregoing help on offense in the form of Minnesota WR Rashod Bateman (who went one pick after the Saints in Kiper’s mock), the Saints address the wide receiver position with the 60th overall pick:
Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue
With Emmanuel Sanders gone in free agency, I have to believe the Saints will use one of their first two picks on a receiver. And since I went with a versatile front-seven piece in Round 1, I’ll add Moore here for Sean Payton & Co. Purdue ran its entire offense through Moore, who’s 5-foot-7 but extremely explosive with the ball in his hands. He forced 30 missed tackles as a freshman in 2018. Payton will be able to get the most out of Moore, using him on jet sweeps and screens and getting him the ball in creative ways.
For those curious, Florida State CB Asante Samuel, Jr. went seven picks earlier to the Tennessee Titans.
So what do you think about this mock draft from Mel Kiper? Would you be happy with it? Are you OK with not picking a cornerback in the first two rounds? Share your thoughts in the comments. Send me presents.
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