With the twenty seventh pick in the 2014 NFL draft, the Saints could go in many different directions. Recent offseason moves show that the Saints are in a win now mentality, so they will probably try to get someone in the first round that can come in and contribute as soon as possible. Just as other teams will attempt to do, New Orleans will want to take the best player available in hopes of also filling a need. Rather than talk about the positions the Saints will attempt to address in the draft, I will be focusing on specific players in this article. If you are interested in positions the Saints will target, check out the link provided below.
New Orleans Saints Draft Positional Needs
Dee Ford – Auburn
This is probably the most popular pick amongst recent mock drafts I’ve seen. Dee Ford is best categorized as a pass rusher. While I see Ford as somewhat of a one dimensional prospect, in the right system he could really prosper. New Orleans I feel would be a great fit. Rob Ryan’s defense has continued to improve this offseason in the secondary, and now it feels as if a star pass rusher might be the missing piece. Victor Butler was slotted to play that role last season but a torn ACL quickly removed any chance he had of playing in the 2013-2014 season. While he may return this season, adding another top tier pass rusher would give Rob Ryan some scary toys to work with. Ryan Shazier is another option but Ford is the better prospect and both should be available when the Saints make their selection.
For me, it is hard to differentiate between the talent of these two guys so I will put them both here. I feel one if not both of these players will be available at 27, making both one of the top talents available. Cornerback may not be as big of a need as it was before the signing of Champ Bailey, but Bailey had an injury plagued season last year and at the age of 35, I don’t think too much trust should be put on him succeeding in a starting role. If he does have a great season, so be it, and all the better for New Orleans, but a backup plan/plan for the future must be in place. Kyle Fuller is a prototypical corner with size and physicality to be a number one or solid number two corner behind Lewis. Verrett on the other hand is incredibly talented, but lacks the size to be a true number one corner. While he plays bigger than he really is, he would be a great slot corner or even a solid number two.
Anthony Barr – UCLA
I won’t go into this pick too much because Barr will more than likely be gone before the Saints pick at 27. I do want to include him though because it has been rumored he may slide come May 8th. If he does slide, New Orleans would be more than happy to pick him up. He may not be a finished product just yet as an outside linebacker, but he provides much more upside than the other pass rushers the Saints would take at pick number 27.
Jordan Matthews – Vanderbilt
If you have seen any of my previous articles, you know how much I believe in this guy. With Colston’s age not on his side, a true number one receiver was really absent all last season. Some say the Saints need a deep threat to stretch the field, but after the re-signing of Joe Morgan the Saints may opt to go with attempting to find a true number one receiver unless Brandin Cooks is available. Cook’s stock has been skyrocketing and odds are he will be gone before the Saints pick. Matthews is very similar to Colston in my opinion: he doesn’t have the blazing speed to be a consistent deep threat, but has a huge catching radius, big hands, doesn’t drop balls, and finds ways to get open. The Saints have also recently drafted players with a family history of playing in the NFL and Matthews is a cousin of the best receiver of all time, Jerry Rice. I could talk all day about why Matthews is going to be the steal of the draft, but I’ll just give you a link to a previous article where I get into all of that below
Jordan Matthews Sleeper Article
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