Which prospects final 2022 mock drafts are linking to the Saints


The 2022 NFL draft is just a few days away, which means that draft analysts and local writers are getting all of their final mock drafts out for consumption. Unlike some teams, there does not seem to be much consensus around what the New Orleans Saints are going to do with their two first-round picks. Do they want two starters? A tackle and a wide receiver? Will they take neither? Will they take a quarterback? Do they need to trade up?

No one seems to know the answers for sure, but this is what NFL writers are saying about what could happen on Thursday night:

Chad Reuter, NFL.com

AP Photo/Butch Dill

Pick 16: QB Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati

“It’s hard to see the Saints passing on a quarterback, given the price they paid to add this selection. Ridder’s maturity, arm strength and athleticism give him a chance to be a very good starter down the road, and he’ll be ready to go in 2023 after veterans Jameis Winston and Andy Dalton pass the torch.”

Pick 19: LB Devin Lloyd, Utah

“New Orleans’ plan to find new future leaders on both sides of the ball in this draft pays off with the selections of Ridder and Lloyd. The former Ute can start at any of the Saints’ three linebacker spots because of his ability to rush the passer, cover tight ends and stick his nose into the run game.”

Austin Gayle, Pro Football Focus

AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

Pick 16: OT Trevor Penning, Northern Iowa

“Northern Iowa offensive tackle Trevor Penning put up freakish testing numbers f” or a player his size and will be coveted for an uncoachable mean streak by a lot of the league’s old-school offensive line coaches. He earned a 97.3 overall grade and 99.9 PFF run-blocking grade across 771 offensive snaps at left tackle in 2021. There are still concerns with his feet in pass protection and overall pad level, but he’s exactly the type of project player NFL teams like to bet on at offensive tackle.”

Pick 19: QB Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh

PFF currently doesn’t view Pittsburgh signal-caller Kenny Pickett as a first-round player in this class, and nor does the media consensus. However, a lot of the rumors swirling around his NFL prospects hint that the league is a lot higher on him and that his floor is likely the Steelers at No. 20 overall.

New Orleans should prioritize offensive tackle over Pickett with their initial first-round pick (No. 16 overall), knowing that the Chargers are heavily interested in adding a right tackle, Philadelphia is likely to pass on a quarterback as they continue to evaluate Jalen Hurts and (in this case) Pittsburgh has already moved up for their quarterback.”

Mel Kiper and Todd McShay, ESPN.com

Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Pick 16: OT Trevor Penning, Northern Iowa

“With two first-round picks now, the Saints could keep their picks or try to move up for a quarterback. If they keep them, they have to get a starting right tackle. And ultimately, if they think they are a contender, they should focus on guys who can play immediately. Penning is a nasty finisher.”

Pick 19: WR Chris Olave, Ohio State

“Mel took care of Terron Armstead’s replacement at offensive tackle (Penning), so I’ll finish the first-round job for the Saints with a receiver. Michael Thomas hasn’t been on the field much over the past two seasons, and the depth chart is pretty weak beyond him. Olave is a smooth route runner with the ability to make vertical plays.”

Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports

AP Photo/John Amis

Pick 16: OT Charles Cross, Mississippi State

“The Saints’ trade-up ultimately yields a top-end talent at the tackle position. Mission accomplished.”

Pick 19: EDGE George Karlavtis, Purdue

“The Saints add more outside pass-rush talent to their defense with Karlavtis. “

Connor Orr, SI.com

AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

Projected trade: The Giants send pick No. 7 to the Saints. The Saints send pick No. 16, No. 19, No. 49 (a second-round pick) and a second-round pick in 2023 to the Giants.

Pick 7: QB Matt Corral, Mississippi

“We’re assuming, perhaps incorrectly, that the Saints needed that trade with the Eagles to acquire first-round ammunition for a quarterback. We’re assuming, perhaps incorrectly, that longtime Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael Jr. would lean toward the quickest release in the draft. Corral is not Drew Brees, but he gets rid of the ball and will pair nicely with the team’s fleet of playmakers. Here, the Giants would forgo the chance to draft Kyle Hamilton and instead add to their future trade stockpile. (Justin Fields, anyone?) In reality, the Giants might want to hang on to this pick, though having additional draft ammo they may use to someday replace Daniel Jones is intriguing.”

Nick Underhill, NewOrleans.Football

JOSH MORGAN/Staff-USA TODAY NETWORK

Pick 16: WR Chris Olave, Ohio State

“You can’t go wrong with any of the top four wide receivers – Garrett Wilson, Jameson Williams, Drake London and Chris Olave – but Olave’s route running is the most intriguing trait any of these players possess. The Ohio State product knows how to separate and make life easy for quarterbacks and also has the talent to get deep. His fit opposite Michael Thomas is clear.”

Pick 19: CB Andrew Booth Jr., Clemson

“If the Saints stay put, it’s more likely that the team uses one of its first-round picks on a defensive player who carries a better grade than the guys available at other positions. The Saints have done a lot of work on cornerbacks, including Clemson’s Andrew Booth, so it wouldn’t be a significant surprise if the team decided to draft one early.”

More analysis available at NewOrleans.Football.

Amie Just and Jeff Duncan, The Times-Picayune

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pick 16: OT Trevor Penning, Northern Iowa

“If the Saints don’t package their two first round picks to move up, it would be smart for New Orleans to draft a tackle here. The Saints have to replace Terron Armstead at the left tackle spot after he departed for the Dolphins during free agency, and Penning fits the bill with his experience, athleticism and strength. — Amie Just”

Pick 19: QB Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh

“Saints fans will want a receiver here but Pickett is too good to pass up. He fits the prototype for what the Saints looks for in a quarterback and can be the team’s long-term solution at the position in the post-Drew Brees era. — Jeff Duncan

Peter King, NBC Sports

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Pick 16: WR Treylon Burks, Arkansas

“He’d be the physical presence to play opposite the returning Michael Thomas in the Saints’ attack, which is desperate for a receiver. A few words about the Saints’ intentions here, in the wake of their trade with Philadelphia two weeks ago leaving them with 16 and 19, then 49 in round two. New Orleans was chided for adding a mid-first-round pick this year, with the feeling that this wasn’t a good year to have a second pick in the middle of a mediocre round. But the way the Saints look at is different. The Saints think they’re better than Tampa Bay, and winning the four regular-season matchups against Tom Brady by 11, 35, 9 and 9 points would buttress that argument. The Saints have had a top-five scoring defense two years in a row. They need another weapon on offense.

There’s also the feeling around the NFL that after losing Drew Brees one year and Sean Payton the next, the Saints are due to slip back. That is decidedly not the feeling in the building, nor with new coach Dennis Allen. Saints GM Mickey Loomis wants to give Allen the chance to be an impact playoff team with two or three big contributors in 2022. I cannot argue with that logic.”

Pick 19: DL Devonte Wyatt, Georgia

“It’s either reach for CB4 or take one of the best two defensive tackles in the class and get the corner in the middle of the second round. This is what I’d do. Wyatt is probably the best three-technique in this class, and, like Travon Walker, was a versatile fit on the Georgia front. I bet Cam Jordan would lead the parade for Wyatt, knowing that attention Wyatt would draw in the middle of the line would give Jordan more chances to impact the game on the edge. Amazing: Georgia could have three defensive front players (Walker, Davis, Wyatt) get drafted in the top 20, three players who played a lot on the interior. I’d love to know if that ever happened before.”

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