And here we are in April for the 2021 NFL Draft. It’s that time again. Last year, Commissioner Roger Goodell announced draft picks from his basement. Hopefully, if everything goes on without a hitch — the draft will signify a rebirth of football in Cleveland, Ohio. Now, for the New Orleans Saints, this is a team moving forward without their future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees. And there are plenty of holes to fill. Without delaying any further — the Saints are on the clock in this mock draft.
New Orleans Saints Mock Draft Exhibit A: Seven Rounds
First Round Pick- Defensive Tackle Christian Barmore (Alabama)
The first-round pick of Christian Barmore may be a slight bit of a surprise. Take a look at a short clip first.
One thing that stands out for me is the constant acceleration towards the quarterback. His hands are the weapon of choice using a deadly swim move to break free. He’s a big guy standing at 6-foot-5 and weighing 310 pounds. The athleticism is off the charts for a big man. Also, he can move side to side as a basketball player down the line of scrimmage. Barmore came out of Philadelphia as a four-star recruit, per Athlonsports.com.
In 2020, he totaled eight sacks along with 37 tackles and three forced fumbles. In the College Football Playoffs, he simply dominated with 12 quarterback pressures and eight stops altogether. Also, he had one sack against the Ohio St. Buckeyes in the national championship. Saints need a guy to push the line the scrimmage from the interior. Barmore is a nasty specimen thriving on a devastating bull rush. He will improve his repertoire too with good coaches.
Second Round Pick- Running Back Javonte Williams (North Carolina)
First of all, to get Javonte Williams the Saints will likely need to move up to the early second round. And knowing the Saints past record, this is not a stretch. Actually, it wouldn’t be terribly surprising to pick up an additional second-round pick as coach Sean Payton is adamant about the top 100 players are where the meat is for the NFL Draft. Moving into the top 60 is usually where the good stuff is. Regardless, Williams is a bruising halfback whose speed is underrated. His 4.55 40-yard dash is more than impressive with his huge frame of 5-foot-10 and weighing 220 pounds — although a bit smaller on his pro day.
Watch the damage done..
He’s as talented as any running back in this year’s class. And the potential is there to be an excellent NFL player. Playing alongside Alvin Kamara makes the black and gold running game elite. Williams can run north-south blowing through any speed bump trying to tackle him. Also, his speed is plenty to run outside, and he reminds me of a Pierre Thomas but even more talented. Think of those beautiful screen plays out of the backfield. Williams could put this Saints team unstoppable with a dominant running game.
Third Round Compensatory Pick- Safety Paris Ford (Wake Forest)
This is the first overshoot on the Saints mock draft so far. Paris Ford is not expected to go till possibly the fourth round or even later. However, this kid is one of my favorites for the 2021 NFL Draft. I’ve already wrote plenty on him with tape included. Ford needs to add some weight but he’s a killer.
Third Round Compensatory Pick- Cornerback Radarious Williams (Oklahoma St)
There’s no doubt the Saints need help in the always struggling secondary especially down the stretch. The Saints have an abundance of talent back there, but there have been breakdowns as a unit. So this pick for cornerback should be no surprise. Williams is a no-risk solid addition to the secondary. He played all four years for the Oklahoma State Cowboys. A good size corner at just under six feet weighing 193 lbs. and a solid 4.48 average time for the 40-yard dash. He has all the tools. Although he did run a 4.5 at the Oklahoma State Pro Day, he has the speed to play. He’s the older brother of Greedy Williams so the bloodline runs deep. Definitely, an aggressive player using his hands makes it difficult for receivers to get off the line of scrimmage. This is a no-risk pick mid-round.
Fourth Round Pick- Quarterback Jamie Newman- (Wake Forest/Georgia)
The name Jamie Newman hasn’t been tossed around too much in the 2021 NFL Draft yet he could be a sleeper mid to later rounds. Newman is a dual-threat quarterback with everything you want in a quarterback. And Saints fans will love his frame, almost like a Taysom Hill prototype at 6-foot-4 and nearly 240 lbs. is as solid as a middle linebacker. And he can move…
To make it clear, technically Newman plays for Georgia but never played a snap. He transferred for the 2020 season but decided to opt out of the season for the draft. So the film isn’t there for him in 2020. Scouts most likely have him rated anywhere from the third round to an undrafted free agent. But make no mistake, this is a player that could come in immediately to play a Taysom Hill role if Hill ends up being the starter or legitimate backup. Either way, he possesses the bonafide arm to make throws into tight windows and the touch to lay a ball into the arms on a deep ball. He struggles with going through his progressions but a good coach over time can help him through those coachable processes. This is a steal here in the fourth round.
Sixth Round Pick- Wide Receiver T.J. Vasher (Texas Tech)
Now, these late-round picks in the Saints mock draft are “shots in the dark” for sure. But don’t tell Tom Brady that — he went sixth round and ended up having a decent career. Also, a guy named Marques Colston went in the seventh. The chances are low yet you never know. Wide receiver T.J. Vasher is a guy with great size at 6-foot-5 and weighing 215 lbs. He can be a huge target in the red zone. The Saints have yet to find anyone consistent to throw to like a Jimmy Graham type of go to guy. Vasher can use his length to go up and make plays on a 50/50 ball. Also, could be a dangerous unstoppable target on those tight slant patterns inside the five yard line.
Seventh Round Pick- Guard David Moore (Grambling)
It’s been a long time since an offensive tackle was drafted out of Grambling. Been 30 years to be exact. Regardless, Moore has a chance to become a developmental prospect that could turn into dividends in a few years. Moore did get an invite to the Reese’s Senior Bowl so he’s not totally off the grid. He was the offensive lineman of the week at the senior bowl. He has a solid base with hands like a vice that clamps down without letting go. Still has plenty to improve on — mainly dealing with the speed rushers of the NFL. Still, being this late of a pick, there’s little risk here.
Seventh Round Pick- Tight End/Punter- Zach Davidson (Central Missouri)
The Saints wrap up this mock draft with my favorite sleeper of the 2021 NFL Draft. First of all, don’t even bother wasting your time flipping through the pages of potential prospects for tight end or punter. Zach Davidson probably won’t exist on your mainstream top 300 prospects. That being said, his star is rising quickly. Davidson comes from a small town Webb City, Missouri that won’t show up on your google map. He is starting to show up on the advanced scouting grid. CBS Sports writer Jason La Canfora discovered the prospect sitting out there waiting to be found. “Trust me. It’s all legit,” Canfora said. “This kid is a secret no longer in personnel rooms across the league after he flashed elite speed, quickness, and athleticism at his pro day a week ago.” Davidson ran a 4.62 40-yard dash and a 6.95 three-cone drill with a 37.5″ vertical. These measurements put him in the top two for tight ends for 2020. Oh yeah, he can punt too. Averaging 40.3 yards a kick and putting 19 punts inside the 20. Davidson could fill two holes at once. That my friends would be a heck of a 2 for 1 deal.
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