The Saints are in desperate need of an edge rusher to play across from Cameron Jordan. I have to believe they would love it if Taco Charlton would fall to them at No. 11, as Charlie Campbell reported in the NFL Draft Rumor Mill that one team believes the Michigan product will be a top-10 pick.
Charlton has great size, athleticism and length with great pass-rushing skills, and he would do a lot to improve New Orleans' stop unit.
Rd. 1, Pk. 32
Tre'Davious White, CB, LSU
Two of the Saints' early-round picks are expected to be used on a pass-rusher and a cornerback. Here's an upgrade for the latter position, though I'll change this selection if New Orleans manages to obtain Malcolm Butler.
Pick change; previously Obi Melifonwu, S
Rd. 2, Pk. 10
Jarrad Davis, OLB/ILB, Florida
The Saints signed Manti Te'o this offseason, but he's hardly the solution they need at linebacker. A talented prospect like Jarrad Davis would help that dire situation.
Pick change; previously Fabian Moreau, CB
Rd. 3, Pk. 12
Nico Siragusa, G, San Diego State
The Saints have taken care of big problem areas on defense already. They can now turn their attention toward the offense, which could be even better if Drew Brees had stronger interior protection. Anothr guard is needed in addition to Larry Warford.
Rd. 3, Pk. 39
<b> New Orleans Saints: Chad Hansen, WR, California
The Saints lost Brandin Cooks in a trade with the Patriots, so why not use one of the picks they required on a replacement wideout?
The Saints could use another edge rusher, especially with Hau'oli Kikaha coming off a serious knee injury. Barnett would also upgrade their run defense, and he could rush from the inside with Sheldon Rankins if Nick Fairley isn't re-signed. <br> <br>
In 2016, Barnett recorded 56 tackles with 19 for a loss, 13 sacks, two forced fumbles, five passes broken up and one interception. He put together a superb game against Florida as he dominated in the second half to help the Volunteers pull off their huge comeback. Barnett totaled five tackles, three for a loss, two sacks and one pass batted in that outing. He also played well against Alabama, even victimizing Cam Robinson for a sack. <br> <br>
Barnett racked up 69 tackles with 12.5 for a loss and 10 sacks in 2015 after putting up an extremely impressive freshman campaign the year before. He notched 10 sacks alongside 72 tackles with 20.5 tackles for a loss that season. Barnett (6-3, 268) set freshman records at Tennessee and clearly has a lot of upside. He is a fast edge defender who is a natural pass-rusher. <br> <br>
Team Needs : DE * ILB * CB * QB * FS * OLB * OT
The Saints have been looking for a field general MLB for a long time and have suffered through some of the worst imposters. Foster will replace a once reliable James Lauranitis who has finally fell victim to father time.
Foster brings a wisdom to the position well beyond his years, his ability to set the defense and bring adjustments at the line through his quick decision making is a huge asset.
Athletically he has sideline to sideline speed and tremendous upper body strength which helps him fend of blockers and get to the ball. An excellent wrap up tackler with great coverage instincts that will improve a Saints defense that was already coming around thanks to a very good 2016 draft.
The Saints could use another edge rusher and a cornerback upgrade. Considering they took Sheldon Rankins last year and Hau'oli Kikaha the year before that, I think New Orleans could lean toward a cover corner this year. <br> <br>
The 6-foot-1, 198-pounder has height, length and athleticism. Humphrey is a very good cover corner with size, quick feet, loose hips to turn and run, and physicality. He is very good at running the route and preventing separation. The one flaw that Humphrey has is playing the ball as there are receptions he allows when he is in good position but doesn't play the ball well over him. That could be corrected with good coaching. <br> <br>
Humphrey totaled 33 tackles with two tackles for a loss, two interceptions and five pass breakups in 2016. To open the year, Humphrey put together an excellent game against USC as he shut down wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, holding him to one catch for nine yards. Humphrey also had an interception returned 18 yards for a touchdown and a tackle for a loss in the contest. He put together an ugly game against Ole Miss in that he was constantly in good position, but failed to play the ball well and allowed some big plays downfield. <br> <br>
After redshirting in 2014, Humphrey had an excellent debut to help Alabama win the 2015 season's National Championship. He earned a starting job across from Cyrus Jones and was the Crimson Tide's top corner. In 2015, Humphrey totaled 45 tackles with three interceptions and eight passes broken up. He is an Alabama legacy as the son of Bobby Humphrey, a former first-rounder who played for the Dolphins and Broncos.
2016 First Round Pick: Sheldon Rankins, Louisville (12)
2016 Offense Rankings: Total (1) Pass (1) Rush (16)
2016 Defense Rankings: Total (27) Pass (32) Rush (14)
2017 Projected Salary Cap Space: $23,293,284
(1) Byrd ($8.3 M)
(2) Morstead ($3.75 M)
GM: Mickey Loomis
Head Coach: Sean Payton
Offensive Coordinator: Pete Carmichael
Defensive Coordinator: Dennis Allen
Offensive Scheme: West Coast
Defensive Scheme: 4-3
Needs: (1) 43OLB, (2) 43ILB, (3) S, (4) 43DE, (5) CB
LCB: (1) Breaux (2) Williams
SS: (1) Vaccaro (2) Sanford
FS: (1) Bell (2) Keo
RCB: (1) Lattimore (2) Webb
NFL.com Grade: 6.52 ESPN Grade: 92
NFL Comparison: Vontae Davis
Measurables: H: 6'0 W: 192 40: 4.50
You could say Lattimore was hamstrung by injuries during his first couple of seasons with the Buckeyes. His hamstrings gave him so much trouble that he eventually had surgery, causing him to miss his freshman year. Though he played in seven games in 2015 (five tackles), he couldn’t finish the season due to the chronic issue coming up again. Finally healthy for his redshirt sophomore campaign in 2016, he won a starting job and made the plays on the field that coaches hoped he would. The first-team All-Big Ten pick had four interceptions and nine pass breakups in his first full year with the team.
Average-sized, one-year starter with explosive athleticism and a loaded tool box. He has the feet, hips and agility to be a lockdown cornerback and the ball skills to make teams pay for looking in his direction. His lack of experience could show up early, but he has the confidence and competitive nature that should help him overcome those issues. He has the ability to become a Pro Bowl cornerback early in his career.
The draft is filled with long cornerbacks who can move and Lattimore Is another name to keep an eye on. He only has one year of experience under his belt, playing 682 snaps over the last two years, but in 2016, he allowed only 43.9 percent of targets to be completed into his coverage and opponents had a passer rating of 30.2 when throwing his way, fourth-best in the FBS among corners with at least 40 targets. Lattimore also showed excellent ball skills, intercepting four passes and breaking up six more on only 41 targets, and he’s right near the top of a deep corner back class.
I know the Saints need some help on the DL, but a them throughout Peyton's tenure in New Orleans has been his connection to OSU and Urban Meyer. Lattimore still helps their secondary, another big need.
The Saints defense certainly needs to continue to find better play makers and adding a pass rusher opposite of Cam Jordan who is their only defender of note. Solomon Thomas is shooting up draft boards thanks to teams now looking at his tape after not many people paying attention to Stanford after their rough stretch that knocked them out of playoff contention. He is a strong man on the edge with a very high motor and good top end speed to get around the corner. Thomas has versatility to him to be able to rush standing up or with his hand in the dirt which is good for a Saints defense still trying to find it's identity.
Last Weeks Selection: Quincy Wilson CB Florida at Pick # 11