It’s time for a New Orleans Saints mock draft as a new era of football is set to arrive. With the team’s Super Bowl window likely closed, the 2021 NFL Draft could prove crucial for this organization to avoid falling to the low depths that haunted this fan base before Drew Brees arrived.
Quarterback isn’t the only spot that will be different in 2021. After mortgaging the future for a win-now mentality, this offseason was the first time the Saints had to start paying the bill. The COVID-19 pandemic took a toll on the entire NFL, but the Saints were forced to take their cap-casualty cuts to the extreme.
It’s created glaring needs on both sides of the ball. Even if the Saints get it right at quarterback, with one of Jameis Winston or Taysom Hill thriving, there are plenty of other issues on the roster. Fortunately, the 2021 NFL Draft could offer Sean Payton and Co. the opportunity to fill some of those gaps.
With the help of The Draft Network’s simulator, let’s dive into our New Orleans Saints mock draft.
New Orleans Saints mock draft: Creating a new-look offense
First round, 28th overall: Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
Sometimes, things just work out for a team picking late in the NFL Draft. Caleb Farley is a top-10 prospect and flashes the skills to be a playmaking, No. 1 cornerback at the next level. But medical red flags have dealt a significant blow to his draft stock, with teams concerned about a torn ACL and now a back surgery. As a result, he falls outside the top-25 picks.
If Farley is available at No. 28 overall, Payton won’t hesitate to draft him. For the 2021 season alone, pairing Farley and Marshon Lattimore will be a better cornerback tandem than what New Orleans had last season. The pressure would be off this rookie defensive back, drawing matchups against No. 2 wide receivers.
The Saints would love to sign Lattimore to a contract extension, but that’s no guarantee. Drafting Farley gives the Saints some insurance, knowing they don’t need to overpay. If a deal gets worked out, this cornerback duo could be among the NFL’s elites in a few short years.
Second round, 60th overall: Brevin Jordan, TE, Miami
Yes, the Saints spend a third-round pick on Adam Trautman last year. But Payton likes using two tight ends and with Jared Cook out the door, New Orleans will need another player to step up. Enter Brevin Jordan, who can be a matchup nightmare in the Saints’ offense.
Making a game plan to contain Payton’s scheme is hard enough for defensive coordinators. Alvin Kamara is a star, Michael Thomas will be healthy in 2021 and both players make plays even when they are surrounded by defenders. Now, let’s add a 6-foot-3 weapon with the speed that no linebacker can match.
He would also allow Payton to get creative. Miami used Jordan in multiple spots, putting him inline, out wide and even in the backfield. That kind of versatility is music to the ears of a creative offensive mind. Jordan would be a toy that Payton would use to make this offense even more difficult to stop. Just get him the football and let his YAC ability do the rest.
Third round, 67th overall: Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, USC
- New Orleans Saints mock draft trade: Houston Texans send 67th overall pick to New Orleans for 98th overall pick, 218th pick, 255th pick and a 2022 fourth-round pick’
Thomas is an All-Pro talent, but it’s not easy to make plays when you’re the only wide receiver defenses have to really account for. Emmanuel Sanders made a nice impact in 2020, but he is gone due to cap constraints. As for Tre’Quan Smith, he’s a role player in the best-case scenario.
There isn’t a ton of upside with Amon Ra- St. Brown, what you see now is largely what you’ll get. He shows a good understanding of his routes, knows how to position his body to snag 50-50 balls and he can make some plays after the catch. He likely won’t be a 1,000-yard receiver, but he can toast single coverage and his instincts for how to get open will help him be effective immediately. Working opposite of Thomas, St. Brown could become a nice weapon for Winston.
Third round, 105th overall: Victor Dimukeje, EDGE, Duke
A defense can never have too many edge rushers. After losing several of their top pass-rushing specialists this offseason, New Orleans would greatly benefit from adding some rotational pieces to its front seven. Victor Dimukeje lacks the ideal length for the position and coming from a smaller program further diminishes his draft stock. But his arsenal of pass-rush moves and his quickness off the snap will help him contribute early in his NFL career.
New Orleans Saints mock draft: Day 3 targets in 2021 NFL Draft
- Fourth round, 133rd overall: Kyle Trask, QB, Florida
- Seventh round, 229th overall: Paris Ford, S, Pittsburgh
What do you think about our New Orleans Saints mock draft? Let us know in the comments below.