NFL Draft 2011: Saints Seven Round Mock
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
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
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
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
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
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.