Thursday, April 14, 2022

New Orleans Saints 2022 NFL Mock Draft Roundup 7.0

Throughout the year and leading up to the 2022 NFL Draft, we will update our New Orleans Saints Mock Draft Roundup showing picks for the New Orleans Saints from several prominent sites and draft analysts.

The following are picks in recent mock drafts for the Saints:

ESPN - Mel Kiper (4/13)

16. Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa

Speaking of the Saints, I have a hard time believing the trade with the Eagles was to take a quarterback. Why wouldn't they try to move up higher? (Unless there's another move to come.) It's possible they think they are NFC contenders this season and could be put over the edge with two more starters. With that in mind, here's a tackle who could replace Terron Armstead on the left side. Penning is a nasty, physical blocker who is ready to play immediately.

19. Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama

Even if Michael Thomas comes back healthy, the Saints should address wide receiver with one of their two first-round picks. Williams would have been in the discussion to be the No. 1 wideout in this class, but he tore his ACL in the national title game in January and could miss a little time in 2022. He could be a superstar once he's healthy; he has explosive speed and was uncoverable for the Crimson Tide last season. ACL injuries aren't even close to career-ending anymore, so I don't see this as a risky pick. Williams is worth it.

The Draft Network - Keith Sanchez (4/13)

16. Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State

Many thought the Saints would "punt this season away" and start a rebuild. But with the trade to acquire this pick, I believe the Saints put the NFL on notice that they are competing to get in the playoffs. With this pick, I think their draft scenario manifests and they are able to select Charles Cross to slide him into the gaping hole that Terron Armstead created when he left for the Miami Dolphins.

19. Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama

It can't be stated enough that the Saints need to improve their receiving corps if they want to get the best out of Jameis Winston. With this pick, they take a gamble on what can be considered the biggest playmaker in this class in Alabama receiver Jameson Williams. Williams is still available due to his injury and if he can recover to 100%, the Saints have a true playmaker to pair with Michael Thomas. - Lance Zierlein (4/12)

16. Malik Willis, QB, Liberty

I'm sure New Orleans came into the draft expecting to take a left tackle or receiver with this choice, acquired in a trade earlier this month with the Eagles, but passing on Willis will likely be too difficult if he's there.

19. Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama

If New Orleans takes Willis at No. 16, it would only make sense to pair him with a speedy home-run hitter he could grow with over the long haul.

CBS Sports - Will Brinson (4/12)

16. Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa

Moving up in early April to snipe the Chargers on an OL is pretty absurd, but here we are. Losing Terron Armstead means the Saints need to reload at the position.

19. Malik Willis, QB, Liberty

Matt Corral is super popular in terms of mocks to the Saints. But with Jameis Winston set for 2022, Willis can be the guy of the future for the Saints.

PFF - Anthony Treash (4/11)

16. Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State

In the first edition of this mock, I had this pick traded to the Chicago Bears for a 2023 first-rounder. But then Saints general manager Mickey Loomis decided to give much more than that. In the end, New Orleans gave up Picks 18, 101 and 237 this year, along with their 2023 first-rounder and 2024 second-rounder, in exchange for Picks 16, 19 and 194 this year.

With their newly acquired first-round pick, New Orleans should go after Ohio State wide receiver Chris Olave, who has the wheels to be a deep threat at the next level and is one of the more refined route-runners in the class. He ranks first in the Power Five in deep receiving touchdowns over the last three seasons and stands at the 97th percentile in separation rate over that span.

19. Bernhard Raimann, OT, Central Michigan

New Orleans is in the market for a new left tackle after they were forced to let Terron Armstead walk in free agency.

While it may take some time to adjust to the NFL, Raimann is an incredibly promising prospect. He grew up in Austria, came to the USA as a foreign exchange student, and secured a scholarship at Central Michigan after one year of high school football. He started his career at tight end for two seasons before switching to tackle the past two seasons and notably earned PFF MAC Offensive Player of the Year honors for his performance in 2021.

Measuring in at 6-foot-7 and 305 pounds, Raimann earned a 94.3 PFF grade last season, putting up a 93.3 run-block grade and an 88.7 pass-block grade to boot. He was virtually flawless in pass protection over his last six games, too, with zero pressures allowed in that span.

ESPN - Jordan Reid (4/11)

16. Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State

Cross is the most polished pass-protector of this class of offensive tackles, but evaluators in the league have mixed opinions about his ceiling. Because of his inexperience as a run-blocker, he projects better to a team that wants to throw the ball heavily.

With Terron Armstead now in Miami, Cross can slide into the left tackle spot as a day one starter in New Orleans.

19. Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama

Williams would have been in contention to be the top wide receiver before he tore his ACL in the national title game in January. He has tremendous vertical speed that places stress on defenses.

In need of a wide receiver, the Saints could bet on him overcoming the injury as he said at the combine that the injury will take "five to seven months" to overcome. Pairing Williams with Michael Thomas gives the team a dynamic outside duo.

CBS Sports - Ryan Wilson (4/11)

16. Matt Corral, QB, Mississippi

Corral is our QB1 but we know he's not for everybody. That said, he fits the profile of the QB position is evolving into -- he's athletic, has a strong arm, and is tough. And if Sean Payton liked the idea of Taysom Hill in that role, Dennis Allen will love Corral's potential.

19. Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama

Williams tore his ACL in the national title game, but he's still one of the best players in this draft class and should be ready to contribute next October. And if not for the injury he's likely the first wideout off the board. The Saints gave up a lot to get an additional first-rounder this year and they could go in any number of directions. Adding a big-play wide receiver has to be high on the to-do list.

MORE TEAMS: All NFL Team Mock Draft Roundups

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