Posted April 18, 2014

New Orleans Saints Mock Draft Tracker

New Orleans Saints, NFL Draft, NFL draft 2014
New Orleans Saints 2014 NFL Mock Draft Tracker: Dee Ford, Auburn

Dee Ford, Auburn (John Biever/SI)

What will the New Orleans Saints do in the 2014 NFL draft? Keep track of all the predictions made in our mock drafts leading up to Round 1 on May 8.

April 17, 2014 — 2014 NFL Mock Draft 7.0 (Chris Burke)

Round 1, pick 27: Demarcus Lawrence, DE/OLB, Boise State

We said: Thanks to Junior Galette, Cameron Jordan and a returning Victor Butler, the Saints are far from barren off the edges on defense. Had CBs not been taken with the previous three picks, New Orleans may have dipped its toe in there — Verrett, especially, would have dropped in nicely.

Lawrence may not fill a glaring need, per se, but his ability to get to the quarterback could turn him into a phenomenal threat for Rob Ryan’s defense. NFL teams can never have too many pass rushers, and Lawrence would turn a solid Saints group into a clear strength.

April 10, 2014  2014 NFL Mock Draft 3.0 (Don Banks)

Round 1, pick 27: Dee Ford, DE, Auburn

We said: The Saints defense came a long way last season, but still has use for another edge rusher who can play a disruptive role in the gambling, bring-the-blitz style game that coordinator Rob Ryan favors. Ford’s reputation for having a non-stop motor will make him a favorite of Saints fans, much the way rookie safety Kenny Vaccaro did last year. In this stage of the first round, taking a shot on a pass rusher with upside is usually a sound approach.

April 1, 2014 — 2014 NFL Mock Draft 3.0 (Doug Farrar)

Round 1, pick 27: Dee Ford, DE, Auburn

We said: Adding Jairus Byrd in free agency made the Saints defense a lot better, and Rob Ryan did an amazing job in his first season as the team’s new defensive coordinator, but the need for a younger pass rusher is quite clear. Ford put up career-highs in his fifth year at Auburn with 10.5 sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss, and he explodes off the edge with a great deal of speed as a pass-rushing linebacker. He tends to get lost when blocked one-on-one and needs free space in which to operate, but in Ryan’s multiple and complex blitz concepts, Ford could really shine.

March 25, 2014 — 2014 NFL Mock Draft 6.0 (Chris Burke)

Round 1, pick 27: Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State

We said: Wide receiver would be intriguing here (Brandin Cooks? Kelvin Benjamin?). In the end, the choice came down to a pair of former Ohio State teammates in Shazier and cornerback Bradley Roby. The argument for a CB does not require much more than a cursory glance at New Orleans’ depth chart. Shazier’s not as obvious a need until one considers the decline in production from guys such as David Hawthorne and Curtis Lofton, in addition to Shazier’s versatility. Just keep adding athletes for Rob Ryan’s attack.

March 18, 2014 — 2014 NFL Mock Draft 2.0 (Don Banks)

Round 1, pick 27: C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama

We said: The Saints surprisingly spent for Jarius Byrd in free agency and re-signed Zach Strief, taking safety and offensive tackle off their first-round need list. Some help for the pass rush or another cornerback are logical targets, but this board doesn’t line up quite right for them. Instead we have New Orleans taking the best available defensive prospect in the productive and proven Mosley, who could go much higher than this if an inside linebacker-needy team values his well-rounded skillset.

March 5, 2014 — 2014 NFL Mock Draft 2.0 (Doug Farrar)

Round 1, pick 27: Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech

We said: The Saints clearly showed that when their primary cornerbacks were out of the game for any reason, the backups didn’t have what it takes to match up. They spent a pretty penny on Keenan Lewis in free agency last year and got good results, but when Jabari Greer went on injured reserve and was recently released, a clear opening was established. Fuller dealt with a sports hernia through his senior campaign, but clearly displayed at the combine that he’s recovered and ready to make any defense better.

Feb. 26, 2014 — 2014 NFL Mock Draft 5.0 (Chris Burke)

Round 1, pick 27: Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State

We said: Last year, the Saints scored with Kenny Vaccaro. This year, they might receive just as much of a boost in the secondary. Roby displayed his sensational athleticism at the combine, topping out with a 4.39 40 time. Although he should have been better in 2013, he was not as bad as the buzz around him may have led everyone to believe.

O-line or wide receiver could be intriguing options for the Saints here, too. But the tackle value simply is not there to reach given how Terron Armstead played late last season.

Round 2, pick 58: Martavis Bryant, WR, Clemson

We said: It’s absurd to think a player with Bryant’s upside could slip to 58, yet it’s perfectly feasible.

Feb. 19, 2014  – 2014 NFL Mock Draft 1.0 (Don Banks)

Round 1, pick 27: Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia

We said: Unless the Saints are zeroing in on a defensive lineman they love, getting another option at offensive tackle seems like the smart play. Right tackle Zach Strief is eligible for free agency, and rookie left tackle Terron Armstead didn’t remove the doubts regarding his future at the position in 2013. Moses has the athleticism and size to handle left tackle, and is thought pro-ready enough for the assignment of protecting Drew Brees’ blindside. Tennessee offensive tackle Antonio Richardson could move into the late-round discussion with a strong showing at the combine.

Feb. 6, 2014 — 2014 NFL Mock Draft 1.0 (Doug Farrar)

Round 1, pick 27: Dee Ford, DE, Auburn

We said: Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan knows how to bring the best out of pass rushers with all different dimensions, and in Ford he could have a new pass-rush presence to add to a defense that already brings pressure from several angles. Ford could play a Von Miller or Bruce Irvin role, excelling in various Sam linebacker concepts.

Jan. 9, 2014 — 2014 NFL Mock Draft 4.0 (Chris Burke)

Round 1, pick 27: Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama

We said: Kouandjio has the potential and the pedigree — he was a multi-year starter at Alabama — to be a top-15 pick. This is just the way the board fell. (Arizona, at 20, was a rather clear possible landing spot for Kouandjio as well.)

The Saints benefit from the first 26 picks. Their 2013 third-round pick, Terron Armstead, still has some maturing to do at left tackle; Zach Strief’s set to become a free agent. Kouandjio may be a better fit, at first glance, for a team wanting to really grind the ball down the field. But New Orleans runs more than enough to take advantage of him there, while his strength as a pass-blocker would aid Drew Brees. The downside we’ve seen — Kouandjio slipping into unbalanced position to allow rushers to beat him — would be negated some by Brees’ ability to set and fire quickly.

Dec. 5, 2013 — 2014 NFL Mock Draft 3.1 (Chris Burke)

Round 1, pick 30: Antonio Richardson, OT, Tenneessee

We said: Considered really going for broke with someone like Oregon RB DeAnthony Thomas here — he’d be the eventual replacement for Darren Sproles, who has one year left on his contract and has battled injuries in 2013. But the line, particularly in relation to RT Zach Strief, needs a boost. Richardson, though a tad raw, does his best work as a pass-blocker — no small note, given Drew Brees’ presence in New Orleans.

Sept. 24, 2013 — 2014 NFL Mock Draft 2.0 (Chris Burke) 

Round 1, pick 30: Kyle Van Noy, OLB, BYU

We said: The Saints have learned the rather painful lesson that you never can have enough linebacker depth, especially in a 3-4 formation. Van Noy probably needs to fill out to really thrive on the outside as a 3-4 guy, but his knack for finding the ballcarrier in the backfield would play well in Rob Ryan’s aggressive defense.

April 30, 2013 — 2014 NFL Mock Draft 1.0 (Chris Burke)

Round 1, pick 22: Kyle Van Noy, OLB, BYU

We said: The nation was introduced to Van Noy when he recorded 3.5 sacks in BYU’s bowl win over San Diego State — part of 9.5 sacks he had in the Cougars’ final three games. The Ziggy Ansah comparisons are inevitable, but Van Noy is more of a linebacker than his former teammate — and he’s also probably more NFL-ready.