Through trades or forfeiture of draft picks, the New Orleans Saints find that they are in the unenviable position of only having five draft picks in the upcoming 2012 NFL draft on April 26-28.
When draft weekend arrives, here's how the Saints—if the team chooses to draft for need only—might use those five picks.
Round 3 (No. 89 overall): Alameda Ta'amu, DT, Washington
The Saints need some depth on the inside of their defensive line. Sedrick Ellis is a stable force, and Broderick Bunkley had the best year of his career last season, but after that the team needs help.
New defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo likes run-stuffers, and Alameda Ta'amu is a huge, 348-pound hole-clogging option. The Saints won't get much of a pass rush from this guy, but opposing runners won't see much daylight when they're running toward him, either.
Round 4 (No. 122 overall): Trevor Guyton, DE, Cal
New Orleans needs another pass-rush option on the other side of Will Smith.
Trevor Guyton has been compared to first-round picks from the past Tyson Alualu and Cameron Jordan. Guyton isn't as refined as those two were entering the draft, but he chases well and impresses almost everyone who sees him with his hustle.
Round 5 ( No. 162 overall): Coryell Judie, CB, Texas A&M
What a difference a day makes. Before the Saints signed David Hawthorne on Tuesday, I was ready to grab an outside linebacker here. Now, I'll go corner.
Coryell Judie was a top-of-the-draft prospect prior to his senior season, when he missed five games because of a hamstring injury. He could be a fantastic find in the mid- to late-round picks.
He jumps routes well and can blitz if needed.
Round 6 (No. 179 overall): Donald Stephenson, OT, Oklahoma
If Michigan center David Molk were available here, I'd grab him to provide some depth and insurance for Brian De La Puente. But I think Molk's Herculean bench-press feat at the combine moved him out of reach of this sixth-round pick.
Therefore, the Saints will take Donald Stephenson here. Stephenson is regarded as a left tackle, but he played both left and right in college.
He's very quick for his size, but the fact that he relies on his will to compete instead of overpowering opposing linemen is the reason why he's pushed into the sixth round.
Round 7 (No. 234 overall): Julian Miller, DE, West Virginia
Since the Saints so desperately need pass-rush help, if Julian Miller were on the board at No. 234, New Orleans might grab a second defensive end.
Miller is a high-motor end who chases well, isn't fooled by misdirection and can get after both pocket (think Matt Ryan) and mobile (think Cam Newton) quarterbacks. Hustle is the name of Miller's game.