The New Orleans Saints lost two draft picks in the 2013 NFL draft, meaning the team has just five in April's draft. This mock draft will look to pinpoint positions of need with value—which is determined at least in part by the performances of individuals at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine.
Several players stood out in Indianapolis. As any good scouting and personnel department would do, it is the goal to allow the players’ combine performance to point us back to the tape. With each pick here, the film shows the prospect was not only a workout warrior, but also a football player ready to compete and produce for Sean Payton in 2013 and well beyond.
Since the Saints can only add five players to its 2013 roster from the draft, it is crucial the team makes the most of its selections. It has made every effort to do just that in the Post-Scouting Combine Mock Draft.
The New Orleans Saints were the second-worst pass defense in the league in 2012. Some of that could easily be attributed to an inconsistent pass rush. Some criticism could also be made towards trying to learn a completely new defensive scheme—which was approximately 100 times more complicated than the previous scheme—with corners who would never pass as brain surgeons, other than the injured veteran Jabari Greer.
Never mind the reasons or the excuses. 2013 must be a year in which the Saints receive better production from the cornerback spot, or else it will be another long campaign. Now insert rising corner prospect Desmond Trufant.
Trufant made a name for himself at the Senior Bowl practices in late January. He did nothing to hurt his stock at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine. He ran a 4.38 40-yard dash on Tuesday, making him the third fastest corner at the combine.
More importantly the former Husky corner possesses a cocky demeanor, which is the primary reason Richard Sherman and Darrelle Revis are each among the league’s finest corners. Trufant would instantly challenge for a starting spot in 2013. And he would make the veteran Greer—and his expensive salary—expendable.
Jamie Collins had 10 sacks as a senior at Southern Miss just two years removed from playing safety. Collins was the lone bright spot for a Golden Eagles squad that went 0-12 in 2012.
As a draft prospect, Collins remains raw. He seems a little like the New Orleans Hornets’ Anthony Davis—who notably benefited from a gigantic growth spurt in between his junior and senior season of high school. Unlike David, Collins seems like he’s still getting used to his 6’3”, 250 pound body.
The good news is that Collins could easily add more muscle to his relatively lean frame. Doing so would make for a stronger player, and one who would fill out and allow his athleticism to take over.
Added strength would also do wonders for Collins in the run game. He already possesses unique burst, which he displayed at the combine with a 4.64 40-yard dash. If he can add a bull rush to his game, he could become a dominant pass-rusher.
Some players are not flashy. They don’t necessarily look good doing anything. In a nutshell they’re anything but sexy. Yet they are productive.
That is Dion Sims. The redshirt junior played this past season at Michigan State at 285 pounds.
A review of the film shows Sims to be a tremendous athlete given his ridiculously large frame for a tight end. Despite playing at such a heavy weight, Sims still showed tremendous athleticism and explosion to get open down the field.
He does a tremendous job of snatching the ball out of the air, even in traffic. He is powerful with the ball in his hands. Defensive players have to hold on and hope for a teammate to come drag him to the ground for good.
He is disappointingly not a skilled blocker. But his effort in the run game is tremendous. The No. 1 rule of blocking is always: At all cost hit somebody! Sims is never afraid to hit somebody, even if he’s falling backwards or lunging forward. His effort will endear him to teammates and tight ends coach Terry Malone.
Few players possess the natural skill set that Terron Armstead of Arkansas-Pine Bluff brings to the table. Armstead is a massive human being who stands 6’5”, 309 pounds. Scouts will also love that he has 34-inch tree trunks for arms and massive hands—9 and ¼ inches.
Scouts fawned over Armstead’s record-setting 40-yard dash time as well—officially 4.71. No lineman has ever recorded a score under 4.7. Armstead had an unofficial 4.65, which was eventually changed to the final official time.
His freakish measureables translate well to the field. He displays tremendous athleticism and ability to move in space while maintaining enough body control to actually make a block. He is also quick-twitched enough to quickly drop step in pass protection, punch and mirror the oncoming pass-rusher.
Few offensive tackles can do the things Armstead does naturally. Questions will remain about his collegiate competition level. That, of course, has never deterred the Saints from taking a player—especially an offensive lineman. In other words, don’t be surprised if Armstead ends up in black and gold.
32 bench press reps. 310 pounds. Great production playing four seasons in the SEC.
Those are the most notable reasons Josh Boyd will not slip beyond the Saints’ sixth round selection in the 2013 NFL draft. Boyd is not a perfect prospect, but he’s loaded with potential.
If he can increase his lower body strength—which so often could be increased by simply getting the player to play the game with more leverage and lower pad level—Boyd can become an ideal nose tackle in Rob Ryan’s defense.
He was a productive player at Mississippi State. He’ll likely be a productive player at the NFL level. There are question marks surrounding Boyd, but it’s hard to imagine he won’t make it in the NFL.
All Combine numbers courtesy of NFL.com.