The New Orleans Saints in desperate need of a receiver finds themselves with an opportunity to add one at the end of round 1 after most teams passed on him. Experts say they’ll likely be able to get away with taking Tre’Quan Smith, who’s 5-8 and weighs 170 lbs, because he plays smaller than other receivers such as Courtland Sutton and Calvin Ridley.
The New Orleans Saints’ need at wide receiver falls in the “sweet spot” of the NFL draft. The team will be able to select a player with one of their three first-round picks, which is currently slated for 2022. Read more in detail here: saints draft picks 2022.
METAIRIE, Louisiana — The New Orleans Saints will be dropping the ball if they don’t choose a wide receiver in the first round on April 28.
Despite veteran Michael Thomas’ crucial comeback from an ankle ailment that cost him the whole 2021 season, the Saints still want another top pass receiver. Last season, they were last in the NFL in passing offense and have yet to add to the position in free agency.
Furthermore, after a deal with the Philadelphia Eagles, the Saints now own the 16th and 19th selections, which are both in what ESPN draft expert Todd McShay called as “the golden spot for a wide receiver.”
“This class reminds me a little bit more like 2020,” McShay said, “in that Henry Ruggs was the first receiver off the board at No. 12 and there were still six receivers picked in the [first 25].”
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Three receivers made the top ten in 2021. In 2019, Round 2 was the “sweet spot,” with Deebo Samuel, A.J. Brown, and D.K. Metcalf being chosen. Regardless, the Saints have lost out on the unprecedented harvest of receiving talent that has entered the NFL in each of those three rounds.
Only the Saints and the Atlanta Falcons did not choose any receivers in Rounds 1-4 from 2019 through 2021. Last year, the Falcons selected tight end Kyle Pitts with the fourth overall choice, and he turned out to be a phenomenal pass catcher.
That’s why the Saints’ storeroom is so empty. That is why they can no longer afford to miss out.
If they don’t pick a receiver, the Saints should call former LSU standout (and local fan favorite) Jarvis Landry and give him everything he’s demanding as the top remaining free agency.
Even if they pick a receiver, it wouldn’t hurt to acquire a veteran like Julio Jones, Odell Beckham Jr., T.Y. Hilton, Emmanuel Sanders, William Fuller V, or Cole Beasley, despite the fact that they’ve been on the free market due to question flags.
Other “needs” for the Saints include left tackle, safety, and defensive line. The only one who should be bolded, underlined, and circled with a red pen is the recipient.
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The good news is that they have a lot of interesting selection choices. Among Ohio State’s Garrett Wilson is a writer and a musician., USC’s London, Drake, Alabama’s Williams, Jameson, and Ohio State’s Chris Olave is a writer and a musician., at least one of the consensus top four should still be available.
They might also choose from the following tier, which includes Treylon Burks is a player that plays in the NFL. of Arkansas, Dotson, Jahan of Penn State, and Christian Watson of North Dakota State.
The flexibility of this year’s class is another plus, according to ESPN analyst Matt Bowen, with top receivers possessing “so many different attributes.”
Garrett Wilson is a writer and a musician.
The Saints would almost certainly have to trade up to get the 6-foot, 183-pounder, which is a shame since he has the greatest inside/outside skills for a squad that could need someone to compliment Thomas, Tre’Quan Smith, Marquez Callaway, and Deonte Harty in the slot.
Wilson, like Stefon Diggs, is “very dynamic after the catch,” according to Bowen. “Upper-tier ball skills and body control to make plays on the back, front, and above the rim.” He has the ability to ascend the ladder and complete the task.
“In terms of the delicacy and complexity of running routes against professional DBs, he’ll need some time and growth. But the sudden ability, the stop-start pace that makes him so dynamic and elusive is something I can’t teach.”
The 6-4, 219-pounder is an apparent fit in the center of the field and might be gone before the Saints choose. Perhaps the most comparable to Thomas — making it even more difficult for defenders to match up.
“I think London, Drake would be a really good fit,” ESPN draft analyst Jordan Reid said. “I think he could play inside and outside; he’s done both. But an underrated factor is he’s a terrific run blocker. I know that’s something [former coach] Sean Payton [valued] in the past.”
Williams, Jameson of Alabama is one of many outstanding wide receivers who might be drafted in the first round this year. Icon Sportswire/Zach Bolinger
In his greatest team fits for receivers, Bowen linked the Saints with Williams. “On video, explosive and abrupt with incredible vertical speed… I admire how well he fits in with quarterback Jameis Winston’s aggressive approach… he’s my favorite wide receiver prospect in this class.”
Williams was also selected by ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. in his most recent mock draft. “I believe he really suits the Saints the best,” Reid said, despite the fact that the 6-2, 179-pounder tore his ACL in January’s national championship game. Reid expects the 6-2, 179-pounder would finish in the top 15 despite injuring his ACL.
Williams’ injury, according to McShay, is the only thing that may put him in New Orleans’ range.
“I honestly believe he has a pretty excellent shot to be the top receiver in this bunch when it’s all said and done,” McShay said.
Chris Olave is a writer and a musician.
Posing on stage with a Saints hat is perhaps the best bet. Because of some concerns about his physicality, opinions on the 6-foot, 187-pounder are more divided. But he’s largely regarded as one of this year’s top route runners, and anybody who watched the Saints last season knows that the No. 1 characteristic they needed was someone who could consistently get open.
McShay described him as a “4.39 speedster who is silky smooth and a strong vertical route runner.” “I believe he has a potential to be a pretty excellent No. 2 in the league, if not a No. 1.”
Treylon Burks is a player that plays in the NFL.
Reid said that he would like to take Burks in his mid-20s. However, if New Orleans needs someone to line up in the slot, the 6-2, 225-pounder may be a solid match.
“I believe he’s a great multi-dimensional player,” Bowen said, citing the 49ers’ innovative usage of Samuel as a receiver and runner, while speculating that Burks might be “deployed in numerous alignments and on manufactured touches.”
Dotson, a 5-11, 178-pound slot receiver, is an undersized slot receiver, but he’s a burner, according to McShay. “And he’s in complete command. He moves at a leisurely pace. And, based on footage, I believe he has the finest ball skills of any receiver in this class.”
Reid feels the Saints will be able to locate a starter in the second round. Georgia’s George Pickens, who is “really beginning to get a lot of steam recently,” is one of his favorites. Last March, the 6-3, 195-pounder tore his ACL, but he returned in time to play the last four games of the season and has continued to improve.
Bowen also named Alec Pierce of Cincinnati and John Metchie III of Alabama as Day 2 options.
The “2009 saints” is a team that has been in need at the wide receiver position for years. The New Orleans Saints’ need falls in the “sweet spot” of NFL draft.
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