kenny wilkerson 4.0
15. New Orleans Saints - We'll look at three 3-4 outside pass rushers that are available first. Texas A&M's Damontre Moore, LSU's Barkevious Mingo, Georgia's Jarvis Jones are the second wave of elite pass rushers in the draft, behind Ansah, Jordan and Werner. Even with Werner perceptibly dropping down published draft boards, the Saints may not consider him given his lack of mobility in space to play 3-4 OLB.
Texas A&M LB/DE Damontre Moore is also sliding thanks to a poor combine performance which featured only 12 reps of 225 and a terrible 4.95 40-yard run. Desperate for a pro day rebound, Moore's lack of intensity is being scrutinized as well, and the favorable comparisons to former teammate Von Miller are fading.
Mingo we would have no surprise or doubt about at this pick. The local product would be a big hit for the team off field and provide uncoachable speed from the 3-4 outside linebacker. The knock against Mingo is that he didn't play much as a stand-up defender, instead with a hand on the ground.
That's not an issue for redshirt junior Georgia LB Jarvis Jones, who seems the perfect fit at 3-4 outside linebacker. Jones is sliding out of the top five because of a attention-drawing neck injury suffered in 2009 as a true freshman at USC. The spinal stenosis diagnosis has been checked out extensively since the NFL Scouting Combine, and is being used as leverage to lower his draft stock. Despite a good diagnosis on the neck, he's dropping because of those concerns. His smaller frame doesn't have great lower-body strength yet, but really, the legitimate gripes about him as a top 3-4 OLB prospect are few. A playmaker, elite athlete with arms like an offensive tackle, Jones would be ready to contribute immediately as an edge rusher and push for starts immediately, and has a more complete game than LSU DE Barkevious Mingo, who was our pick in version 3.0.
In fact, it is Jones that draws more comparisons to Von Miller than Moore. But like Lotulelei, each team's medical grade of Jones will determine his draft status more than anything else. If a team doesn't consider those health issues to be a problem, we wouldn't be surprised to see Jones go as high as #2 overall to the Jaguars.
Other prospects the Saints should consider are Mizzou DT Sheldon Richardson, Purdue DT Kawann Short and UCLA DE Datone Jones, who would line up at defensive end in the 3-4. Cornerbacks Desmond Trufant of Washington and Johnthan Banks of Mississippi State couldn't be argued against either, with Saints starters Jabari Greer aging and Patrick Robinson flailing. The Saints have very little young depth at the position as well, given 2012 late round pick Corey White's terrible rookie year.
We've talked a lot about offense, but offensive tackle could be a major consideration depending on free agency's developments. But the top offensive line prospects are gone. Next up would be Alabama's DJ Fluker would be a better fit on the right side than free agent Jermon Bushrod's left tackle spot, but it isn't like right tackle wasn't a major ongoing concern for the Saints in 2012. Notre Dame TE Tyler Eifert can't be ignored either, as the draft's top tight end would give the Saints leverage in star Jimmy Graham's upcoming contract negotiations.
In this mock draft, no quarterbacks have been selected yet, an outcome that could give the Saints a golden opportunity to trade down and add rookies to a five-man draft class. Any draft pick on the defensive side should be ready to play - this is no year for developmental projects. Moving out of 15 and adding more picks to history's worst defense should be strongly considered.
We're not so adventurous to predict trades, so the tremendous value Georgia LB Jarvis Jones
is the pick here.
-----choosing between Jones and Mingo would be pretty rich. Can't see Werner to NYJ. Jones or Mingo should go there.