After back-to-back seasons sitting on the outside of the playoffs, the New Orleans Saints are loading up to reclaim the NFC South in 2023. Head coach Dennis Allen has a new signal-caller under center, and with the potential for better health next season, we could see the Saints bounce back with a convincing offense. Despite the departure of some depth pieces, their defense for the most part welcomes back its core foundation.
With that in mind, New Orleans knows better than to overlook the talent they can add via April’s NFL Draft. The Saints have also been grappling with the salary cap for the past few seasons, so the names they can add in this year’s draft could very well serve as potential replacements for 2024 and beyond while being relatively easy on the books.
Significant free agency additions
- QB Derek Carr
- QB Jameis Winston (re-signed)
- RB Jamaal Williams
- DT Khalen Saunders
- CB J.T. Gray
Significant free agency losses
- QB Andy Dalton
- EDGE Marcus Davenport
- DL David Onyemata
- DL Shy Tuttle
- LB Kaden Elliss
New Orleans Saints 7-round mock draft
New Orleans will be on the clock later in the first round a pick No. 29, so we’ll run through a mock draft via Pro Football Network to see how they can upgrade their roster. The PFN mock draft simulator is inclusive of trades.
29. WR Jalin Hyatt, Tennessee
40. EDGE Nolan Smith, Georgia
71. LB Noah Sewell, Oregon
115. RB Kendre Miller, TCU
146. WR Dontayvion Wicks, Virginia
165. S Rashad Torrence II, Florida
227. DT Jalen Redmond, Oklahoma
257. CB Chamarri Conner, Virginia Tech
The Saints bring back some notable names across both offense and defense, including wide receiver Michael Thomas, running back Alvin Kamara, and safety Tyrann Mathieu. But how confident can you be that each will be on the field for a majority of a 17-game season? From Thomas’ injuries to Kamara’s impending suspension, New Orleans would be wise to draft some depth behind these guys.
Hence we went with Jalen Hyatt and Nolan Smith early on through the first two rounds. An additional presence up front should help a Cameron Jordan-led front seven, while Jalen Hyatt should give Carr an additional weapon alongside Thomas and the emerging Chris Olave.
The Jamaal Williams signing is very exciting, but who ends up splitting carries with him when Kamara is handed his suspension, which could linger potentially six, seven, or more games? Drafting a complimentary rookie in the third or fourth round would be ideal here, hence selecting Kendre Miller out of TCU.
From there on out we went with adding depth behind the aforementioned positional units, which includes calling Rashad Torrence II’s name in the later rounds. It may be tough for Mathieu to play every defensive snap again this season, and we’ve seen Marcus Maye be hampered by the injury bug. This selection may be forward-thinking as well, as drafting a safety could potentially replace Maye or Mathieu at safety come 2024.