NFL Draft 2011: Saints Seven Round Mock

Jason KarlAnalyst IIIMarch 20, 2011

NFL Draft 2011: Saints Seven Round Mock

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    ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 27:  Head coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints calls a play during the second half during the game against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome on December 27, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Imag
    Scott Halleran/Getty Images

    The New Orleans Saints disappointingly lost in their Wild Card Game to the Seahawks, even though they came in as huge favorites.

    This Saints team though is a Super Bowl caliber team, with only few spots that needs an upgrade.

    In 2010, the defense finished fourth overall and the offense 6th, so with a solid draft, the Saints could be back on top.

    Here is a complete mock to for the Saints:

Round One Pick 24: DE Justin Houston

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    ATHENS, GA - NOVEMBER 27:  Justin Houston #42 of the Georgia Bulldogs sacks quarterback Tevin Washington #13 of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Sanford Stadium on November 27, 2010 in Athens, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    The Saints were tied for 18th in the league in sacks last year with only 33.

    None of their defensive ends managed to record six sacks, as stud defensive tackle led the team.

    Will Smith is slowing down and the Saints could use a starting caliber defensive end like Justin Houston.

    Houston recorded 10 sacks and was up to 6'3'' 270 pounds at the Combine. He still ran a 4.63 in the 40-yard dash and notched a 36.5-inch vertical.

    Houston could be the solution to an average pass rush.

Round Two Pick 56: LB Mason Foster

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    SEATTLE - SEPTEMBER 11:  Linebacker Mason Foster #40 of the Washington Huskies celebrates with Willis Wilson #29 after tackling quarterback Ryan Nassib #12 of the Syracuse Orange and causing a fumble on September 11, 2010 at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Wash
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    Foster is expected to go between the second and third rounds and could be an upgrade for a struggling group of linebackers.

    Foster can play all three linebacking positions, though the 241 pounder would probably excel on the weakside. This would allow Jonathan Vilma to stay at middle linebacker.

    Foster recorded 162 tackles (105 solo) and seven sacks last season at the University of Washington.

    He is a fast, aggressive linebacker, perfect for Gregg Williams' defensive scheme.

Round Three Pick 72: DT Marvin Austin

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    CHAPEL HILL, NC - NOVEMBER 7:  Marvin Austin #9 of the North Carolina Tar Heels rushes against Brian Moore #68 of the Duke Blue Devils at Kenan Stadium on November 7, 2009 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Coming into the year, Austin was projected to be a mid-first round pick, but with the suspension, not many know where the defensive tackle could be drafted.

    The Saints just signed Shaun Rogers, but they need a long-term replacement next to Sedrick Ellis. Austin is the best player available at this juncture, and could learn behind those two great tackles.

    At 6'2'' 309 pounds, Austin ran a 4.80 40 and notched a 38-inch vertical.

    In his junior year, Austin recorded 42 tackles and four sacks, but disrupted opposing offensive lines. Austin's play was very key in fellow teammate's Robert Quinn's success.

Round Three Pick 88: RB DeMarco Murray

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    GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 01:  DeMarco Murray #7 of the Oklahoma Sooners runs the ball as Scott Lutrus #32 of the Connecticut Huskies attempts to take it away in the first half during the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl at the Universtity of Phoenix Stadium on January
    Tom Pennington/Getty Images

    The Saints re-signed Pierre Thomas, who has had injuries in the past. Chris Ivory filled in nicely last year, but he became injured as well.

    Reggie Bush is likely to be cut because of the large sum of money he is expected to earn, so a third-down back will be needed.

    Murray ran for over 1200 yards last season and at 6'0'' 213 pounds, he ran a 4.38 at the Combine.

    Murray also caught 71 balls, proving he can catch the ball out of the backfield.

Round Seven Pick 215: S Jermale Hines

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    COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 13:  Jermale Hines #7 of the Ohio State Buckeyes tackles Silas Redd #25 of the Penn State Nittany Lions at Ohio Stadium on November 13, 2010 in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
    Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

    Jermale Hines finally had his chance to start last year at safety at Ohio State and made the most out of his opportunity.

    Hines recorded 68 tackles, one sack, and one interception, but was a solid, dependable play for the Buckeyes defense.

    At 6'1'' 220 pounds, Hines ran a 4.55 at his Pro Day.

    He could be a third safety at the next level and could be a solid backup for the Saints next season.