The New Orleans Saints are entering next season with more question marks than answers with the retirement of Drew Brees. The Saints were in salary cap hell at the start of the offseason, but with some contract restructures, they are in a much better place for next season.
Despite the departure of several key players, New Orleans still has a solid roster, which depending on the play of quarterback Jameis Winston and gadget player Taysom Hill can make some noise in the playoffs.
Below are three options for the Saints with their second-round selection.
Saints NFL Mock Draft: 3 perfect options at No. 60
1. Osa Odighizuwa, DT, UCLA
With Trey Hendrickson and Sheldon Rankins gone, New Orleans will have to bolster its defensive line. They still have Cameron Jordan generating pressure from the edge, but he will need help so the unit can be considered a strength once again.
Unfortunately, there is only one interior defensive lineman who regularly grades out as a first-round prospect, and that is Alabama’s Christian Barmore. He might not even be available with the Saints’ first selection at number 28.
There is quite a drop-off between Barmore and the other prospects at his position, but it’s not as wide a margin as Kyle Pitts and the other tight ends.
Nabbing Odighizuwa with the number 60 selection presents good value and addresses a position of need. Coincidentally, his build is quite similar to Rankins at 6’2, 282 pounds with long arms. He has a quick first step and is stronger than he looks.
Odighizuwa will be a presence in the run game and has the speed to chase runners in the backfield. He has the tools to get to the quarterback. Odighizuwa has a high floor and will be a starter from day one, but his upside is limited.
2. Alim McNeill, DT, NC State
Should Odighizuwa be gone by the time the Saints make their choice, they can go for McNeill, who is not too far off from Odighizuwa. It is common for players to change position as they get older, but McNeill had one of the more dramatic ones.
He played running back and linebacker in high school, but was a 6’2, 320-pound nose tackle in college. Entering the draft, he has started to lose weight, so he should be more versatile. This metamorphosis is a testament to his hard work on both his diet and body.
McNeill is an absolute run-stuffer and has tremendous burst for his size. He has the size to be unmovable in the run game, but the mobility to possibly develop into a complementary pass rusher.
3. Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida
New Orleans veteran wideout Emmanuel Sanders is now playing with the Buffalo Bills. While the Saints have the luxury of having an elite receiver in Michael Thomas, the rest of the unit could use an upgrade.
Mock drafts have Toney’s landing spot varying greatly, but he will probably be gone by the 60th pick, so the front office will have to trade up. He measures in at 5’11, 195 pounds and projects to be a reliable deep threat with his speed.
Toney can also line up at the slot and be a difference-maker in the short and intermediate routes. The man flat out knows how to generate separation from his matchup.
Toney is good at tracking the ball but could struggle in making contested catches against bigger and more physical defensive backs.