The 2019 NFL Draft is coming up, which means that The Game Haus will be doing draft profiles for every team. Each NFL team will be looked at heading into this year’s draft including what their needs are and who they could be targeting. The New Orleans Saints will be the 31st team evaluated.
New Orleans was within reach of a Super Bowl appearance last season, but a missed pass interference helped keep them out of the biggest game of the year. It was still a decently successful season though, as the Saints went 13-3 in the regular season.
The offense was high-powered once again and averaged 31.5 points per game, which ranked third in the NFL. Drew Brees passed for 3,992 yards and 32 touchdowns in a season that saw him become the NFL’s all-time leader for passing yards. His favorite receiver, Michael Thomas, had another great season as well, finishing with 1,405 receiving yards and nine touchdowns. The rushing offense accounted for 126.6 yards per game, as Mark Ingram (when he returned from suspension) and Alvin Kamara split carries. Kamara led the team with 883 yards on the ground. The offensive line was decent, but there is some room for improvement for next season. Ingram is now on the Ravens, but Jared Cook was signed to give Brees a good tight end to throw to.
On defense, the Saints allowed 22.1 points per game, ranking them 14th in the NFL. Sheldon Rankins was solid in the middle, while Cameron Jordan and Marcus Davenport manned the defensive end positions for the Saints. Jordan led the team with 12 sacks. New Orleans had a few average linebackers in Alex Anzalone, Demario Davis and A.J. Klein. Marshon Lattimore was great at corner, while the team traded for Eli Apple to try to improve the secondary. Von Bell and Marcus Williams are quality safeties for the team. Malcolm Brown was signed to help in the middle of the defensive line.
2019 NFL Draft Picks
The Saints have six picks in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Second Round (one pick): No. 62
Fifth Round (one pick): No. 168
Sixth Round (two picks): No. 177, No. 202
Seventh Round (two picks): No. 231, No. 244
Guard/Center- Max Unger retired and Andrus Peat played poorly. They may need to pick two interior linemen in the draft.
Wide Receiver- Behind Thomas, there are no consistent players at the wide receiver position.
Cornerback- Lattimore is great, while Apple still hasn’t proven to be of starting quality. Even if he does turn up this season, the Saints need to get a cornerback for the slot.
2019 NFL Draft Targets
Pick No. 62: Jamel Dean, Cornerback, Auburn
The Saints only have one pick in the first four rounds, so they need to maximize them. Picking a cornerback could solve two issues, as doing so could allow Apple to move into the slot, while Lattimore and the corner they select play on the outside. Dean has good size and length, which could help him be disruptive. He also has good quickness for his size, which will allow him to match up with some of the NFL’s more athletic receivers.