You read that right. We are already doing this, New Orleans Saints fans.
The 2021 NFL draft ended this weekend. You know what that means? TIME TO START GETTING EXCITED FOR THE 2022 DRAFT BABBBBYYYYYYY. No, but seriously I love the draft. I love college football. I love NFL football. Why not take any excuse I can to talk about something involving all three of those? Here I will be conducting my WAY TOO EARLY 2022 NFL Saints Mock Draft.
Now, I will be using the betonline.ag Super Bowl Odds for the draft order. I’ll also throw in some honorable mentions at the end of the article.
Round 1, Pick 21 – OT Zion Nelson, Miami
Now I know you may not want to see an offensive lineman, but the Saints offensive line will be due a huge shakeup soon. Zion Nelson catches my eye as an intriguing prospect early on. Steadily improving year to year, getting bigger and stronger but keeping athleticism. He has put up some good tape, but still has some stuff to show this seasons to prove himself a top prospect. But for now, he has everything you want a year away from being drafted in Round 1 in the NFL.
Round 2, Pick 54 – WR David Bell, Purdue
David Bell is an explosive wide receiver for Purdue. He has the Saints prototype size, was a two sport athlete in high school, and shows great RAC ability. He is a deceptive deep threat. He has been fun to watch, and I would certainly not mind seeing him stay in Black and Gold. He will be 21 by the time the 2022 NFL draft rolls around so he COULD go back to college, but with the volatility of Purdue football it is a toss-up. Watch one of the games where he got to play with Rondale Moore to see what he can do when a team doesn’t laser focus on him being the only offensive target. Such as a 10 catch, 132 yard, 1 TD performance against Nebraska.
DAVID BELL 89 YARDS
Purdue coming back…
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) December 5, 2020
Round 3, Pick 85 – DL Thomas Booker, Stanford
Thomas Booker is going into his senior season at Stanford. I remember his announcement standing out as one of the better ones, as I really liked him as a prospect this year. Booker stated, “I have been so fortunate to attend Stanford, play football, and make so many connections that will last a lifetime. I’ve been able to learn from some of the best professors in the world while competing with teammates that I now call my brothers. They make me better and hold me accountable. I’ve also been afforded an incredible platform to speak on issues of racial and social justice. I’ve seen, firsthand, just how important it is for us as athletes and human beings to use our voices.” Booker is an athletic defensive lineman that I think would thrive in the New Orleans Saints defensive system. His run defense is the highlight of his game.
Round 3, Pick 105 – LB Devin Lloyd, Utah
There is always a Utah player I LOVE in every draft, this year it is Devin Lloyd. This might be hopeful to get him late 3rd, but I am using trends from this years draft here. Devin Lloyd has been a great presence in Utah on and off the field. 21 TFLs, 8.5 sacks, and a pick six under his belt so far in Utah. He is a smart linebacker, who should check every box the Saints look for in the draft.
Insanely talented play from Utah LB Devin Lloyd pic.twitter.com/AT1lUxdkbH
— Cam Mellor (@CamMellor) December 12, 2020
Round 4, Pick 128 – S Reed Blankenship, Middle Tennessee
ATHLETIC. FREAK. Reed Blankenship is smart, skilled, and just a freak is the simplest way to put it. The Saints will be in the safety market for someone across from Marcus Williams sooner rather than later, and they could do a lot worse than Reed Blankenship. Reed is a player I have liked for a while, but is realistically looking at a mid round draft selection, due to age and where he played. Versus FAU in 2019, he had 11 tackles (10 solo), a pass breakup, a blocked PAT, and a QB hurry. He is a tackling machine who is certainly not a liability in coverage.
Don’t think I’ve ever seen a safety as involved defending the run against a triple option team as Reed Blankenship was against Army. Screams special teams upside. pic.twitter.com/ZBAFUYmh9C
— Bobby Football (@Rob__Paul) February 21, 2021
Round 5, Pick 166 – RB Ty Chandler, Tennessee/North Carolina
Ty Chandler heads from Knoxville to Raleigh, an offense now missing two NFL draft picks. Love his fit in this offense. Chandler would be an interesting partner to Alvin Kamara in the future for the Saints. He is an experienced back without a lot of tread, as he was never the main guy in Tennessee. He is a big dude who has more speed than you would think. He is also a better pass catcher than you would think at his size.
Ty Chandler was a part timer last season. Dude will be a playmaker this season. pic.twitter.com/lQYPzQmXKh
— Rainey (@RaineyVoI) June 10, 2018
Round 7, Pick 250 – QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson, UCLA
DTR has shown some promise as a passer, but has only been playing the position a couple of years. He has a lot of good athletic traits, and could look to be the player of this class that Sean Payton wants to try and convert in this class. I know my guy @RealD_Jackson is high on him. He could be an interesting chess piece in the future for the Saints.
What a throw, what a catch! Dorian Thompson-Robinson to Theo Howard to set up the TD.
— UCLA Athletics (@UCLAAthletics) September 8, 2018
— Damian Parson (@DP_NFL) June 22, 2020
Potential Names to Know
QB Jayden Daniels, Arizona State
I am a huge fan of Jayden Daniels, and have been for a while. He is someone who I could easily see go back to college. He could take more time to develop his game and bulk up.
OT Logan Bruss, Wisconsin
What else is there to say than he is a Wisconsin right tackle. If Ram can’t come back, this could be an interesting player to watch for a potential roster spot.
QB Tyler Shough, Oregon/Texas Tech
Tyler Shough (shuck) is entering a gun-slinging Red Raider offense. Another QB option if Jaysom doesn’t work out.
WR Chris Olave
If I got out of this without mentioning him, Ross Jackson might block me. I would love to see Olave go to the Saints in the first round next year.
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