Saints Nation: Mock Drafts Have Saints Selecting...?

Saints Nation: Mock Drafts Have Saints Selecting...?

Saints

Saints Nation: Mock Drafts Have Saints Selecting...?

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As we gear towards the NFL draft while a new CBA continues to be negotiated, I figured I’d pull up a list of some Mock NFL Draft sites to see who they have the Saints picking at #24. Interesting names:

NFL.com’s Patt Kirwan: Cam Heyward, DE, Ohio St.

“The son of former Saints running back Craig “Ironhead” Heyward is a tweener who can play inside or outside. Good versatility for Gregg Williams’ defense. Good pedigree.”

WalterFootball.com: Corey Liguet, DT, Illinois

“The Saints don’t have many holes on their roster, but they could certainly use some upgrades on their defensive front. I think they’ll take the best pass-rusher available. Corey Liuget, who happens to be the top prospect on the board (excluding cornerback Jimmy Smith), would fit in nicely next to Sedrick Ellis.”

NewNFLDraft.com: Adrian Clayborn, DE/DT, Iowa

“The Saints get a very talented defensive end in Adrian Clayborn. He has the ability to play inside as well as rush the passer on the outside. He falls a little bit because of his character issues and lack of great play this year. He was still an impact player but not quite the player he has been in years past.”

FFToolbox.com’s Matt de Lima: Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue

“Kerrigan is explosive and has a great motor. New Orleans doesn’t have any glaring weaknesses but getting tougher up front would help a defense that tends to rely so much on blitzing.”

CBS Sports’ Rob Rang & Chad Reuter: Muhammad Wilkerson, DT, Temple & Adrian Clayborn

FoxSports.com’s Peter Schrager: Ryan Kerrigan

“The Saints may have other needs — defensive tackle, safety and running back to name a few — but Kerrigan is too promising a prospect to pass on at 24th overall. He had an incredible senior campaign and led the nation with 26 tackles for loss in 2010. He had a solid Senior Bowl — beating top tackle Nate Solder on a number of occasions — and solidified his status as a first-round pick. A high-motor guy with a contagious positive attitude, he’ll be a great addition to Gregg Williams’ defense.”

ESPN.com’s Mel Kiper: Muhammad Wilkerson

“The Saints must improve their front seven on defense, from the interior to defensive end, and target an outside linebacker. Athletic enough to be a penetrator as a 3-4 defensive end, Wilkerson profiles similarly to Dareus as a guy who can get to the quarterback from the inside of that 4-3. He would be a potential top-10 pick were he to stay in Philadelphia for another year. The Saints get good value without having to trade up at a position of need.”

MyNFLDraft.com: Phil Taylor, NT, Baylor

Todd McShay of ESPN.com: Justin Houston, OLB, Georgia

“Houston is a bit raw and not an ideal fit for New Orleans’ defensive scheme, but upgrading the pass rush is a primary need for the Saints and Houston has all kinds of potential in that area.”

DraftSeason.com: Muhammad Wilkerson

“If the Saints don’t see a defensive end worthy of the 24th pick they could very well look for a big guy to put next to Ellis in the middle. Great at both stuffing the run and getting to the quarterback. I look for the Saints to add a few new bodies on the defensive line throughout the draft.”

So as you can see, Wilkerson, Clayborn and Kerrigan are the names that keep coming up. Most people seem to agree the Saints will either bolster their pass rush, or the interior of the defensive line. But that beggs the question: Does the Saints’ draft strategy change now that they’ve signed Shaun Rogers? Probably not. Remember he only signed a year deal, and he’ll be turning 32 this season.

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