The 2022 NFL draft is a little over two weeks away now, and no one really knows what the New Orleans Saints are going to do. All we know is that they just traded with the Philadelphia Eagles to end up with two first round picks. Fans and analysts either assume that it’s to pair up a wide receiver and offensive tackle or to trade up for a quarterback. Well, the NFL draft doesn’t always go the way you want it to, so let’s take a look and an unconventional first round scenario for the Saints:
Round 1, Pick 16: WR Garrett Wilson, Ohio State
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When I look at Wilson I can’t help but see Stefon Diggs. He’s not super physical at the line of scrimmage, but doesn’t struggle to find separation. He has great body control and can adjust to catch balls with a great catch radius. He is super athletic and can make a play after the catch as well. He’s a highly talented, high-IQ football player and would be a great person to add to your offense.
Round 1, Pick 19: S Jaquan Brisker
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Saints fans are used to first round picks coming out of nowhere, this would certainly be that for a large portion of the fan base. The safety class this year is not very deep and losing more than they gained in free agency could force New Orleans to act fast. Brisker is undoubtedly at least the second-best safety in this class and I don’t believe he’s too far behind Kyle Hamilton. He has a great mix of coverage and physical traits. A secondary with him, Marcus Maye, and C.J. Gardner-Johnson would be super versatile and fun for Kris Richard to play with.
Round 2, Pick 49: OT Bernhard Raimann, Central Michigan
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In a very possible future, both Charles Cross and Trevor Penning (along with the other top tackles) are gone by pick No. 16 and the Saints must pick to either reach for a guy or take another true first round talent and then wait to see who falls to them in round two. Raimann is a tackle with very high upside and freakish athleticism. James Hurst likely gets some playing time to start the year in this situation, but he is serviceable until Raimann is ready.
Round 3, Pick 98: WR David Bell, Purdue
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Bell is a player that had been viewed as a top receiver in this class for a while, but due to him not testing well athletically his stock has begun to plummet. The thing about him is, everyone should have already known that he was going to test poorly if they actually watched him play. They should also have known that he performs well in actual games. He is an elite pass catcher, and people should stop overthinking him. David Bell will be a good NFL receiver.
Round 4, Pick 120: TE Charlie Kolar, Iowa State
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Charlie Kolar is a big, athletic, and highly productive tight end. He is a very intriguing receiving option in this Saints offense, with Trautman taking the brunt of the blocking snaps. He also brings in crazy automatic hands (just 5 drops on 168 career targets with the Cyclones), something Saints fans could certainly get behind at the position.
Round 5, Pick 161: RB Tyrion Davis-Price
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Davis-Price has undergone a body transformation in the off-season. One that has seemed to make him a much more intriguing prospect. He’s about 20 pounds lighter than his playing weight, but has kept his signature strength. He still got 18 reps on the bench at LSU’s pro day. He is looking to bring a bit more agility and burst to his game, but once he gets going he is hard to bring down. Adding him to a backfield with Alvin Kamara could do a lot to help both parties.
Round 6, Pick 194: DL D.J. Davidson, Arizona State
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Davidson has promise as a rotational run defender, who could find snaps early on a Saints defensive line that loves to sub out and doesn’t shy away from playing young defenders who are late picks/undrafted. His game could use some re-tooling, but has enough upside for a late round flier.