Likely my last mock leading up to the draft, so enjoy! 1st Round. Jarvis Jones OLB, Georgia
If he's here, it would be silly for the team to pass him up. Jones is the best football player available in this draft in my opinion. He's explosive off the edge and strong as an ox. He has violent hands to shed blockers and a thick lower body to drive through them. He's an instinctive football player with a great talent for generating sacks and turnovers. Not an elite athlete in the mold of Mingo, Jordan, or Ansah, but he's a proven commodity who will lean on his tape to become a high draft pick and great player at the next level. He may struggle at times in coverage, but he played OLB in a 3-4 at Georgia, so it's something he knows and certainly something he can improve. If I had to make an NFL comparison, I would say Terrell Suggs. I have no concerns about his health whatsoever, so if he's available, this is my guy. 3rd Round. Kiko Alonso ILB, Oregon
He's a guy that has certainly risen throughout the draft process. Alonso didn't play a whole lot before his senior season, but that's okay because he was great this year. Alonso recorded 81 tackles, of which 14 were for loss, and also managed to snag four interceptions while forcing two fumbles. I compare him to Daryl Washington coming out of TCU. Not quite as athletic, but he's a very good ILB who can cover and pulverize in the run game. He's excellent as an A-gap blitzer just like Washington as well. I believe his even has the versatility to play some outside linebacker. Alonso may not be available when this pick is on the clock, but if he is, I think he's the one as the Saints have been keeping tabs on him. 4th Round. Shamarko Thomas S, Syracuse
This a really deep safety class, and in other years, Shamarko Thomas would be a sure-fire early to mid 2nd round pick. He's a powerful hitter with good range and covering abilities. He can play in the box as well, blowing up running back and blockers twice his size. He's a ferocious football player who truly elevates the intensity of those around him. The only problem is his height (5'9") and question marks concerning man-to-man coverage of bigger players. He does possess long arms at over 31" which does leave him pretty even in terms of reach. If he falls to the 4th round, which is a strong possibility due to the depth at safety, the Saints would be smart to take him. His attitude and fire for the game is infectious, and some have said he compares to safety Quintin Mikell. 5th Round. Montori Hughes NT, Tennessee-Martin
Hughes is an upside pick here in the 5th, and to me, this might kind of be a reach. He's a huge guy at 6'4" 329 with above average agility. Initially recruited by Tennessee, he was dismissed from the team for violating team rules. He doesn't offer much in terms of pass rush, but he does have the ability to anchor well in the middle. He will have to improve his upper body strength though, as he was sometimes over-powered by FBS players at the Senior Bowl. He could wash out or turn into a very nice piece in the middle, but I think this would be a solid pick based on where other mocks have him going. 6th Round. Rogers Gaines OL, Tennessee State
The Saints stay in the state of Tennessee for this pick. Gaines is a massive human being at 6'6", 334 lbs. He also has the athleticism and length (36.25" arms) to go with his great size. He dominated FCS players regularly with his natural abilities alone, but that won't be enough for the NFL. He's still quite raw with his technique, but not as much of a project as many before him. He played LT in college, but could contribute right away (perhaps) at RT or guard while adjusting to the speed of the game for the left side. A pure upside pick here, with very little to lose in the, I think this is a great choice. ZOOM OUT!
This post was edited on 4/18 at 4:43 pm