The 2020 NFL Draft is coming up in a few weeks. It looks as if it’s a go as of today. Although the draft may look a bit different, teams must be preparing their boards and scenarios when it comes. The New Orleans Saints have five picks coming into the NFL Draft. However, expect the normal desire to move up and grab a player they want if it’s in the realm of the possibility.
Top 10 New Orleans Saints NFL Draft Prospects to Trade For in the 2020 NFL Draft
Free Agency Additions
The Saints addressed needs in free agency by signing wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders and safety Malcolm Jenkins. Still, there is plenty of work to be done. Here are my top NFL Draft candidates for the Saints through the first three rounds. As of now, the Saints have a first and a third. No doubt, the Saints will be eyeing specific players in the second and early third rounds of the NFL Draft. And there’s always a possibility to move into the middle part of the first round if the player is a lock. Here’s the list.
First Round Guarantees
Defensive Tackle Javon Kinlaw- South Carolina [Scouting Report]
In my opinion, this is a guy worth every penny to get, if he’s still on the board after pick 14. He’s projected to go midway through the first round. He’s a beast. Kinlaw can pop out of the gates like a racehorse coming out the gate. Basically, he’s the total package. Standing at 6′-5″ and weighing 315 pounds, Kinlaw looks intimidating. He can bulk rush offensive lineman into submission. Also, his skill sets are off the charts. His hands are constantly battling for position and leverage. And he usually wins. Tackling is a given. Don’t come at him. He will swallow you up. Kinlaw is a future pro-bowler. No risk here. Easy return on investment.
Cornerback C.J. Henderson- Florida
Another player that’s guaranteed to be a instant starter. With the loss of Eli Apple, Henderson and Lattimore could be the best tandem in the NFL. Per Pro Football Focus, Henderson allowed only 54% of passes caught coming his way. Lately, he’s been climbing up the ladder in some of the draft projections. Last year, the Saints could have had a chance at getting him at the 24th spot. Unfortunately, that’s a pipe dream now. Henderson looks to have a GPS on the football at times. Following the ball in the air is not an issue at all. He does a great job of timing his turnaround and running with the receiver. Blazing speed by running an official 4.39 in the 40-yard dash. Another player who creates all types of problems in the secondary. Scary.
Second Round Contenders
Tight End Albert Okwuegbunam- Missouri [Scouting Report]
Albert Okwuegbunam (pronounced O-coo-Way-boo-nham) literally broke into the national conversation after the NFL Combine. Nothing to really compare it to, so just take a look here.
The scary part of those two runs, is that he ran silky smooth. Here’s a stat to blow you away. Since, 2003 there has been two players that were 6-foot-5 and 250 lbs. who ran a 4.49 or faster. First round pick Montez Sweat (4.41) and Albert Okwuegbunam.
In his career, he’s caught 98 receptions for 1,187 yards and 23 touchdowns. Look for him to go somewhere in the second round. Actually, there’s a chance he could go before the favorite tight end Cole Kmet depending on how the draft goes. He’s not as polished as Kmet, but the ceiling is astronomical. And the question of lagging injuries could drop him into the third round. Still, he’s worth the slight risk somewhere mid-second round.
Guard Shane Lemieux- Oregon
Look, there’s no secret for my excitement about this player. In my first mock draft, I have him going to the Saints in the first round. Not many experts have him going that high, with the exception of WalterFootball.com.
If the Saints can grab him in the second round, the steal would be greatly appreciated. Once again, Lemieux is slotted to go anywhere from early second to late third. This is a low-risk pick. The Saints need an interior lineman. Lemieux is the best one and should go first.
Defensive Tackle Raekwon Davis- Alabama
Raekwon Davis was regarded as a highly touted recruit coming out of high school. He’s a monster at 6-foot-7 and 312 lbs. Davis pops out of his break from the line of scrimmage. The length is also something scouts love to see. He works through setting specific angles on his pass rush, and flexibility is excellent for a man his size. He has all the fundamentals intact. The knock on him is the lack of inconsistency and leverage. Also, there’s been questions regarding his stamina late in the game. That being said, he is very instinctual on breaking plays up before they happen. Exceptional at closing the gaps inside. Potential is there to reach starting quality with the right coaching.
Running Back Jonathan Taylor- Wisconsin
First of all, there is no doubt Jonathan Taylor should be a first-round pick. Yet, it’s more likely he’ll go early in the second round. And someone is going to get a heck of a deal on this guy. Taylor ran for 6,174 yards in his college career that lasted three years. No one has accomplished that feat. Averaging 6.7 yards a carry on 926 carries is ridiculous. To put it in another way, Taylor doesn’t exist in the real-time college football world. Perhaps, the Saints aren’t looking for a running back as need. However, if the Saints stick to the best player available, Taylor may be on the radar.
Third Round Hopefuls
These four guys more than likely will go somewhere in the third or later. There is one guy in particular who would be a perfect fit in New Orleans out of the four. I’ll get to him in a second. Ultimately, offensive tackle Josh Jones, wide receiver Chase Claypool, tight end Thaddeus Moss, and cornerback Bryce Hall are my final four to be considered value players worth trading up for. Be that as it may, Bryce Hall is my favorite guy targeted for the third round if he falls that far. Hall was considered to be a first-round pick at once. Unfortunately, he sustained an injury midway through the season. His skill set is “on the ball” at all times.
He’s an absolute ball hawk with eyes laser-focused. Hall can be a game-changer and a welcomed leader in the locker room. His instincts can’t be measured. There are some guys coming out of college that simply bring more than the table than what’s expected. Hall won’t be fooled. There are questions about his recovery from injury, but he is slated to be 100% ready for training camp. Regardless, don’t pass on Bryce Hall. Get him in the third round if he’s still available.
Also, my second favorite on this list is tight end Thaddeus Moss. You know the last name. He’s the son of Randy Moss. And seriously, he’s a natural-born athlete. Watching him at the NFL Combine gave me chills reminding me of a wide receiver versus a tight end. He’s only 6-foot-3 and 250 lbs. Be that as it may, he can strike when you not looking.