New Orleans Saints Full 7-Round 2012 Mock Draft
Well, Saints fans, what can I say? It's been a tough week for the Saints organization.
From talks of tagging or not tagging Drew Brees to the disheartening discovery of the so-called "bounty" program that took place from the 2009 to 2011 seasons, it's been quite rough on the entire organization and fans alike.
There is one thing, though, that Saints fans (mainly locals) and only Saints fans understand about the fans of New Orleans, and that's our resilience and determination. Saints fans will never give up, and they will always stand behind their team no matter what. We've seen it over and over again ever since the organization was created back in 1967.
From the lowly times of the 70's and 80's to the hopeful but disappointing times of the 90's, we've always been there. We've worn bags, we've survived Dikta, Mora, a Hebert, a Hobert and even hurricanes. And today, there are "bounties."
We will, however, rise above this, as we always do, and always have. We will take our punishments, we will shut our mouths and then, we'll play football, and we'll play good football.
We'll play Saints football. It's who we are and what we do. So get ready for it, fans. Get ready for it, NFL. And especially, get ready for it, NFC South. We're coming for you.
That being said, I thought I would throw together a quick look at what the Saints should be looking to do during the draft in April. Let's begin the fun.
2nd Round (59th Overall): Kelechi Osemele, G, Iowa State: 6'6": 333
Let's face it, folks. Carl Nicks is asking for a lot of money.
He has been quoted as saying that he's willing to play for New Orleans this year, but only if we make him the highest paid guard in the league.
Can that happen? Sure, but it could mean that Drew Brees would have to play the entire year under the franchise tag price. I'm sure they don't want that to happen.
I believe Nicks will hit the open market, and his price will be steep. This pick is the most conditional pick we will have this year for two reasons. If Nicks gets re-signed, then a guard will not be needed here. It could also be taken away as punishment for the bounty scandal.
So, the best we can do here is call this one TBD.
3rd Round: Josh Norman, CB, 6'0", 197: Coastal Carolina
Another guy that could be lost to free agency is 25-year-old Tracy Porter. I think this would be a bigger mistake than most can see right now, as Porter is a great young corner.
As most regulars here know, my faith does not reside in Patrick Robinson, and I think we're going to be in for a long year if he plays the entire year as our No. 2 corner. I'm really hoping we can somehow keep Porter on the roster.
However, if he is to leave, then I would hope they are looking to improve at that position through the draft.
My first impression was to take Casey Hayward of Vanderbilt here. He also has very nice transition skills and plays the ball very well. He does, however, have a tendency to play too far off the receiver a little too often.
Josh Norman plays much closer to the receiver and is always in position to make a play on the ball. He'll be a surprise at the NFL level.
4th Round: Derek Wolfe, DT, Cincinnati: 6'5", 295
Looking at current free agents yet to be signed, we have Shaun Rogers and Abrayo Franklin just sitting there. Are they even worth re-signing? I doubt it. They did very little to help the team in 2011, and their time could be up. I love Wolfe's size at 6'5" and 295.
He also had very good production at the collegiate level, totaling 70 tackles, 9.5 sacks and 21.5 tackles for a loss in 2011. Can that be right?
Watching the tape on Wolfe also shows that he took the majority of double and even triple teams at the line.
If those numbers are accurate, we could be looking at a very special prospect here. The Saints can not let him pass them by.
5th Round: Marvin Jones, WR, Cal: 6'2", 199
Another guy that we will hate to lose is Marques Colston at wide receiver. There is no doubt that he is a favorite target of Drew Brees, especially on third downs. However, the Saints are built to take a hit here with Graham, Sproles and other receivers getting as many looks as Colston.
This class of receivers is also a very deep class, and Jones will be around near the fifth and sixth rounds. He has amazing catching skills and would fit very well in New Orleans' offense, along with Graham, Sproles, Meachem (who I think will be re-signed) and possibly Randy Moss.
6th Round: Jacquies Smith, DE/OLB, Missouri: 6'3", 253
I only make this pick here because I know that the Saints are interested in Keenan Robinson of Texas. I struggle with that selection because he seems to wait on the runner to come to him instead of going after the man with the ball.
I think fellow teammate Emmanuel Acho is a better player and can be seen constantly shooting through the line to make the tackle in the back field. I would prefer him over Robinson as well.
Jacquies Smith, however, has a bit of size advantage over Acho and would bring a balance of size and speed to a position the Saints are definitely looking at. Smith really, really, caught my eye at the combine with his athleticism. He is more capable of playing the LB position in the NFL than DE.
6th Round: Chase Ford, TE, Miami: 6'6", 258
Does this seem like a little deja' vu? Maybe so. Chase Ford is a Kilgore Junior College transfer that played the 2011 season with the Miami Hurricanes. He only totaled 16 catches for 184 yards and two touchdowns, but that didn't matter for Graham, and it doesn't matter here.
All scouts agree the kid can catch the ball and contribute to an NFL team willing to give him that chance. Watching the tape on him was a bit impressive, as he was used in many different positions in his junior college days.
This pick makes sense because paired with Graham, you create a problem that most teams have no cure for, and he also gives Brees a backup to his clutch and bail-out option of Jimmy Graham.
More information on Ford can be found here.
7th Round: Akeim Hicks, DT, Regina State: 6'5", 318
Coming in to play alongside of Derek Wolfe would be Akeim Hicks of Regina State. Very little is known about him except that he has all the tools to succeed at the next level.
He began his collegiate career at LSU, but left shortly after arriving when rumors of recruiting violations surfaced. Sounds more like LSU did something wrong than Hicks if you ask me.
You better believe, though, if anyone has better information on his situation, it's the New Orleans Saints staff.