Prospects for Saints to Avoid in 2021 NFL Draft

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistApril 14, 2021

Prospects for Saints to Avoid in 2021 NFL Draft

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    Butch Dill/Associated Press

    Quarterbacks fly off the draft board like the hottest toy of the Christmas season.

    If the New Orleans Saints were in the market for a quarterback in the 2021 NFL draft, they would be out of luck on the top prospects at the 28th overall pick.

    Even if the Saints showed interest in a signal-caller, they would be looking at the fifth- or sixth-best arm on the board.

    New Orleans also appears to be set with its running back depth, as Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray are back to partner either Jameis Winston or Taysom Hill.

    In fact, most of the positions the Saints should avoid in the draft are on the offensive side of the ball.

    There likely is not anything wrong with the prospects they should avoid, but they just do not fit the needs of the franchise.

Kyle Trask, QB, Florida

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    Michael Ainsworth/Associated Press

    If the Saints were still in the market for a Drew Brees replacement, Kyle Trask would likely have been the top quarterback available at No. 28.

    Trask turned himself into a potential first-round pick through two solid seasons at Florida.

    The Gators senior eclipsed the 4,000-yard mark in his final college campaign. He finished with 7,386 yards, 69 touchdowns and only 15 interceptions.

    Trask is ranked as the No. 6 quarterback in the draft class by Bleacher Report’s NFL experts. That position puts him behind Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, Trey Lance, Zach Wilson and Mac Jones, all of whom could be chosen in the opening 20 picks.

    Trask could be an intriguing developmental prospect for any Super Bowl contender, but it seems more likely that the team that would choose him at No. 28 would make a trade with the Saints.

    At No. 28, the Saints should focus more on surrounding Winston or Hill with more weapons, or look to improve their defense.

Najee Harris, RB, Alabama

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    Rusty Costanza/Associated Press

    The Saints have not chosen a running back in the first round since Mark Ingram came out of Alabama in 2011.

    Najee Harris is the latest star to come out of Tuscaloosa, but he may not be on New Orleans’ radar with Kamara and Murray already in place.

    New Orleans would be smart to explore the running back market on the second or third day of the selection process to add depth, but it does not need a starter at that spot of the field.

    Harris is currently the No. 28 prospect on the rankings from Bleacher Report’s experts, but unless something drastic happens with New Orleans’ running back room, he likely will not go there.

    The better targets for the Saints could be Memphis’ Kenneth Gainwell or Oregon State’s Jermar Jefferson, who could bring some youth to the room and potentially be groomed in the coming years to split time with Kamara.

Azeez Ojulari, Edge, Georgia

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    Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

    The Saints seem set on the edge with Cameron Jordan and Marcus Davenport holding down the starting positions.

    With that in mind, the Saints could avoid Azeez Ojulari and other edge-rushers who may be around at the end of the first round.

    New Orleans would be better off attacking the last layer of its defense to provide more support to Marshon Lattimore, Malcolm Jenkins and others when facing the loaded offensive units of their NFC South opponents.

    Ojulari is the No. 3 edge-rusher and No. 39 overall prospect in the class, per B/R's experts, but he may gain first-round traction since he produced at least 5.5 sacks in each of his last two seasons with Georgia.

    Ojulari could also be intriguing because of his youth as a three-year player in the SEC. That may allow veteran defensive coordinators to mold his game into the system in which he lands.

    But for New Orleans, he would not be a viable selection since there are other needs in play on the defense.

            

    Statistics obtained from ESPN.com.

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