New Orleans Saints Mock Draft I
The 2020 NFL draft begins on Thursday, April 23, and concludes on Saturday, April 25. Barring trades, the New Orleans Saints have selections in the 1st round (24th overall), along with 3rd (88th), 4th (130th), 5th (169th), and 6th (203rd) rounds. The Saints have done a fabulous job keeping their talented core intact in free agency, along with adding a few new additions. They still have some glaring needs on both sides of the ball, however, and have built one of the best rosters in the NFL mostly through the draft.
Over the next several weeks we will examine which players Head Coach Sean Payton and General Manager Mickey Loomis will add to their 2020 squad. Here is my first Saints mock draft of the 2020 offseason.
1st Round - Laviska Shenault, WR (Colorado)
After the signing of wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders on Friday, the Saints could easily use this pick to fill needs at linebacker (Patrick Queen) or cornerback. Saints Coach Sean Payton knows firsthand how devastating an offensive attack can be with multiple threats at receiver with his early New Orleans squads. We also saw the Kansas City Chiefs ride the talents of a deep receiving corps to a Super Bowl title last year. The team they beat there, the San Francisco 49ers, were bolstered by a mid-season trade for Sanders. They also had a dynamic rookie threat at wideout named Deebo Samuel that they used all around their offensive formation.
Shenault is a player in this year’s draft with a similar skill set to Samuel. He has a terrific combination of speed and strength and decent size that makes him a threat at every level. Shenault is deadly explosive in the open field, has good hands, and is combative on contested throws. Payton will salivate at the versatile possibilities Shenault adds to his offense.
3rd Round - Solomon Kindley, G (Georgia)
Kindley is an athletic pass blocker for his size (6’3 337-Lbs) and a powerful run blocker. He needs to refine his technique, but several scouts believe that he has immediate starting potential. With the recent re-signing of Andrus Peat, Kindley could be a potential replacement for Larry Warford at right guard in 2021.
4th Round - K.J. Hill, WR (Ohio State)
The all--time reception leader at Ohio State Hill is a precise route runner with good hands that works the middle of the field well. He may be best suited for a slot role at the NFL level, but Hill can run the whole route tree and is a shifty runner in the open field.
5th Round - Amik Robertson, CB (Louisiana Tech)
Robertson could be a Day 2 prospect if not for his size (5’8 187-Lbs). Despite his stature, he is a physical player who challenges bigger receivers. Robertson has great ball skills, evidenced by 14 career interceptions and 34 pass breakups in his three-year collegiate career. He has the technique and instincts to fill the Saints need for a slot cornerback alongside Marshon Lattimore and Janoris Jenkins.
6th Round - Michael Pinckney, LB (Miami, Fla.)
Pinckney was an impactful four-year starter for “The U”, showing versatile abilities against the run and in coverage or as a blitzer. He’s an aggressive and physical player whose instincts and vision make up for athletic limitations. Pinckney could supply depth to a New Orleans linebacking unit that has All-Pro Demario Davis, but lengthy injury histories with Alex Anzalone, Kiko Alonso, and promising second-year Kaden Elliss.
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