The New Orleans Saints traded Sean Payton to the Denver Broncos, meaning that the team has a first-round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. New Orleans desperately needs to rebuild a younger roster, and the best way to do that is by accumulating draft picks. This mock draft gives the Saints a chance to fully begin their rebuild and compile a young core that can lead this team into the future.
Because the draft is still months away and a lot will change between now and then, this Saints mock only includes the first three rounds. By and large, these players are known commodities, and their stock won’t change too dramatically over the next few months. Also note that this exercise was performed using Pro Football Network’s Mock Draft Machine. If the player was on the board when the Saints were on the clock, they were fair game.
New Orleans Saints Three-Round Mock Draft After Sean Payton Trade
Pick 1.29: Isaiah Foskey, EDGE
The Saints are currently $59 million over the salary cap, which means that they probably won’t have the financial resources required to re-sign Marcus Davenport. With Davenport presumably off to greener pastures, New Orleans needs to find another pass rusher to pair with Cameron Jordan and Carl Granderson.
Enter Isaiah Foskey. If you turn on the Notre Dame’s product tape for even one second, you’ll immediately see why this guy is going in the first round. The 6′-4″, 257-pound pass rusher has the tools to be an absolute menace at the NFL level. While he is still a little raw, his acceleration and quickness are second to none in this class, and he has demonstrated NFL-caliber strength during Senior Bowl practices. In the short term, Foskey could be a great third pass rusher on the Saints defensive line. However, if he develops correctly, he has double-digit sack potential.
— PFF College (@PFF_College) January 31, 2023
Pick 2.40: Kayshon Boutte, WR
With no good quarterbacks left on the board, the Saints need to find another way to improve their offense. LSU wide receiver Kayshon Boutte checks most of the boxes you want to see in a wide receiver prospect, both from a film and analytics standpoint. On tape, Boutte is an athletic freak, blessed with great straight-line speed and an innate ability to lose defenders with quick cuts and sharp routes.
From an analytics standpoint, Boutte is an early declare, has three strong years of production, and found a way to get the ball despite playing in the talent-filled SEC. While he’s not a target monster and will probably never develop into a superstar, he’s the perfect guy to play opposite Chris Olave.
Pick 3.71: Zach Charbonnet, RB
Alvin Kamara is going to be entering his age-28 season next year, which means the Saints need to start thinking about finding their next starter. Most running backs start to drop off after their age-27 season, and Kamara has shown signs of slowing down in the past two seasons. Fortunately, this is a loaded running back class, so the Saints can afford to wait until the third round to grab someone like UCLA’s Zach Charbonnet.
A hard-nosed, physical runner, Charbonnet is perfect for the Saints in both the short- and long-term. In 2022, the UCLA product’s violent, north-south style of running as a perfect complement to Kamara’s elusive style of play. Essentially, the duo can re-create the Ingram-Kamara backfield from 2017 and 2018. In the long-term, Charbonnet has experience catching the ball and could turn into a full three-down back once age officially catches up with Kamara.
Embed from Getty Images