Sunday, March 7, 2021

Pre-Free Agency New Orleans Saints 2021 NFL Mock Draft Roundup

Throughout the year and leading up to the 2021 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:

EDSFootball - Hanson (3/5)

28. Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU

No team is more over the cap than the Saints, per Over the Cap. Even so, the Saints are "expected to prioritize" impending free agent safety Marcus Williams, per ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, as "they want to keep him -- within financial reason." Especially if they can't afford to re-sign Williams, Moehrig makes sense here. The top safety prospect in this year's draft class, Moehrig offers positional versatility and has intercepted six passes over the past two seasons combined.

ESPN - McShay (3/4)

28. Joe Tryon, EDGE, Washington

I considered Missouri's Nick Bolton here to fill the inside linebacker role, but the edge rush could also use some support. The Saints did have 45 sacks last year, but age concerns and free-agency exposure might flip this unit sooner rather than later. Tryon opted out in 2020, but he's versatile and quick on the edge. He had 12.5 tackles for loss and eight sacks in 2019.

Mike Triplett on his fit with the Saints: The Saints are expected to lose starting defensive end Trey Hendrickson in free agency, but edge rusher is an issue even if they find a way to keep him. Cameron Jordan turns 32 in July, and Marcus Davenport hasn't quite broken out yet.

CBS Sports - Trapasso (3/3)

28. Mac Jones, QB, Alabama

Alabama quarterback. Eventually, he'll be able to operate Sean Payton's system very well.

The Athletic - Beat Writers (3/1)

28. Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa

The Saints witnessed first-hand how well the Buccaneers fared with two stellar linebackers in Devin White and Lavonte David. New Orleans currently only employs one -- Demario Davis. The Athletic's Dane Brugler described the 6-3, 259-pound Collins as possessing the size of a defensive end with the athleticism of a safety offering every-down ability. New Orleans drafted Zack Baun in the third round last year with the hopes he'd become a middle linebacker. There's no indication Baun can handle the transition yet after being more of an edge rusher at Wisconsin. The Saints could easily take the best player available regardless of position. At No. 28, this might be the best of both worlds. -- Larry Holder

Touchdown Wire - Farrar (2/26)

28. Jayson Oweh, EDGE, Penn State

Just as interceptions aren't always a reliable performance barometer for defensive backs, sacks rarely tell the whole story when it comes to edge-rushers. So when we mention that Oweh didn't have a single sack in his 2020 season, you may think he had a down year from his five-sack season in 2019. But he did have 20 total pressures and 21 run stops in just 347 snaps in 2020, and the tape shows a lot more than the stat sheet does.

If you want to know what Oweh's opponents thought of him, ask Ohio State, who double-teamed him more often than not, and tended to regret it in the run game when they didn't. Oweh didn't have a single pressure of any kind in that game, but again, the tape showed an impact player in the ways the Buckeyes made him a focal point.

The Saints could lose Trey Hendrickson in free agency, and though Oweh's football experience is relatively limited -- he didn't start playing the game until his junior year of high school, though he received scholarship offers from Ohio State and Michigan before deciding on the Nittany Lions -- he shows all the natural attributes to be a plus-level pass-rusher in the NFL. - Casserly (2/25)

28. Jayson Oweh, EDGE, Penn State

Assuming the Saints lose Trey Hendrickson in free agency, they replace the 2020 breakout pass rusher with Penn State's Oweh. - Meinke (2/25)

28. Levi Onwuzurike, IDL, Washington

With defensive players like Trey Hendrickson, Marcus Williams, Sheldon Rankins and Alex Anzalone potentially hitting the market in a couple weeks, New Orleans needs help on that side of the ball. Onwuzurike is the top 3-tech in the draft and could replace Rankins immediately.

San Diego Union Tribune (2/24)

28. Mac Jones, QB, Alabama

The verdict is still out on if Drew Brees' successor is currently on the roster with Taysom Hill showing his upside against Atlanta, but regressing against Denver and losing to Philadelphia. Jameis Winston is also a possibility, but Jones fits Sean Payton's system perfectly. He certainly benefitted from a great supporting cast in Tuscaloosa, but he's an accurate, decisive passer who finished third in the Heisman Trophy race and earned positive reviews for his week of practices at the Senior Bowl.

Previous update: New Orleans Saints Mock Draft Roundup 5.0

MORE TEAMS: All NFL Team Mock Draft Roundups

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