Round 1, Pick 20 (20th Overall) – Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State
Not only did the Saints need a wide receiver, they needed a receiver with the exact attributes Cooks possesses. Cooks is going to be able to stretch defenses and catch short-route passes (or even screens) and make people miss to churn yardage.
Cooks is going to take so much pressure off the rest of the wide receiver corps (and tight end Jimmy Graham), and open up this already potent offense. Any pick that makes it easier for the Saints to quickly score points is a great pick.
Round 2, Pick 26 (58th Overall) – Stanley Jean-Baptiste, CB, Nebraska
As much as the selection of Cooks helps the offense, adding Jean-Baptiste makes the defense much better too.
The New Orleans defense was incredibly improved in 2013, largely because of the way the defensive backfield played (an improved pass rush also helped). Jean-Baptiste being in New Orleans will make it more difficult to throw the ball against the Saints, helping the defense get off the field, and placing the ball in quarterback Drew Brees’ hands more frequently.
Round 4, Pick 26 (126th Overall) – Khairi Fortt, ILB, California
Fortt is more of a roving linebacker that’s going to help in coverage instead of an attack-the-quarterback weapon that defensive coordinator Rob Ryan enjoys to move around. But that’s OK, because the Saints needed to add some depth at linebacker, and Fortt not only does that, he can excel in an area of the game that escapes a lot of linebackers.
Round 5, Pick 29 (169th Overall) – Ronald Powell, OLB, Florida
The fifth round is a spot for teams to make reach picks, and the Saints have done rather well lately in the fifth round. Adding Powell to the team could turn out roses for New Orleans as well.
Derailed by injuries in college, Powell could offer the New Orleans defense a situational pass-rusher for Ryan to use at will. If Powell stays healthy and lives up to his unrealized potential, he could turn into a starter.