Potential Day 3 Draft Prospects for the New Orleans Saints

The Saints don't have a scheduled selection in Day 3 of the NFL draft, but could be eyeing a trade back in if some talents continue to fall.
Author:
Publish date:

The 2020 NFL draft concludes this afternoon with rounds 4-7. The New Orleans Saints have no scheduled selections today, having traded all four of their Day 3 picks to the Minnesota Vikings to move back into the 3rd round and draft Dayton tight end Adam Trautman. New Orleans had a busy day two though, executing two trades in the 3rd round. After selecting Michigan offensive lineman Cesar Ruiz with their first pick on Thursday night (24th overall), the Saints swapped 3rd rounders with the Cleveland Browns to draft Wisconsin linebacker Zack Baun with the 74th overall pick on Friday. Then with Round Three winding down they pulled off the deal with the Vikings to grab Trautman with the 105th overall pick.

The Saints have had some success with picking up talented players in the later rounds, and may pull off a few deals today to grab some of this draft’s remaining talent. Here are some of the top available players still on the board as the 2020 draft wraps up its last day.

QUARTERBACK

Jan 1, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Jake Fromm (11) throws a touchdown against the Baylor Bears during the second quarter at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 1, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Jake Fromm (11) throws a touchdown against the Baylor Bears during the second quarter at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Jake Fromm (Georgia)

Jacob Eason (Washington)

Mason Fine (North Texas)

Nobody expects the eventual replacement for Drew Brees to come from the third day of the draft.  Fromm and Eason were both projected to be drafted in the second or third rounds though, while Fine could be a future developmental project. 

RUNNING BACK

Oct 12, 2019; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; Florida Gators running back Lamical Perine (2) runs the ball against the LSU Tigers in the second half at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sport

Oct 12, 2019; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; Florida Gators running back Lamical Perine (2) runs the ball against the LSU Tigers in the second half at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sport

Lamical Perine (Florida)

Anthony McFarland Jr. (Maryland)

Joshua Kelley (UCLA)

Sean Payton has had a lot of success with running backs that have gone undrafted or slipped to the later rounds.  McFarland, Perine, and Kelley have all been productive runners with good pass catching ability. 

WIDE RECEIVER

Jan 23, 2020; Mobile, Alabama, USA; North wide receiver Antonio Gandy-Golden of Liberty (11) grabs a pass ahead of North cornerback Michael Ojemudia of Iowa (7) during Senior Bowl practice at University of South Alabama s Jaguar Football Practice Facility. Mandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 23, 2020; Mobile, Alabama, USA; North wide receiver Antonio Gandy-Golden of Liberty (11) grabs a pass ahead of North cornerback Michael Ojemudia of Iowa (7) during Senior Bowl practice at University of South Alabama s Jaguar Football Practice Facility. Mandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

K.J. Hill (Ohio State)

Tyler Johnson (Minnesota)

Antonio Gandy-Golden (Liberty)

James Proche (SMU)

Collin Johnson (Texas)

While surprising that the Saints didn't draft a receiver from a deep draft class, there are still a few good route runners available with good hands and solid athleticism. 

TIGHT END 

Jan 13, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; LSU Tigers tight end Thaddeus Moss (81) makes a catch against Clemson Tigers safety Tanner Muse (19) in the fourth quarter in the College Football Playoff national championship game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 13, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; LSU Tigers tight end Thaddeus Moss (81) makes a catch against Clemson Tigers safety Tanner Muse (19) in the fourth quarter in the College Football Playoff national championship game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Harrison Bryant (Florida Atlantic)

Brycen Hopkins (Purdue)

Thaddeus Moss (LSU)

It seems unlikely that the Saints would swing a trade for another tight end after parting with four draft picks to land Trautman.  But another talented pass catcher should never be ruled out, and Jared Cook will be a free agent at seasons end. 

LINEBACKER

Oct 31, 2019; Boone, NC, USA; Georgia Southern Eagles running back Logan Wright (2) stiff arms Appalachian State Mountaineers linebacker Akeem Davis-Gaither (24) during the first quarter at Kidd Brewer Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sport

Oct 31, 2019; Boone, NC, USA; Georgia Southern Eagles running back Logan Wright (2) stiff arms Appalachian State Mountaineers linebacker Akeem Davis-Gaither (24) during the first quarter at Kidd Brewer Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sport

Markus Bailey (Purdue)

Akeem Davis-Gaither (Appalachian State)

Troy Dye (Oregon)

Michael Pinckney (Miami)

Shaquille Quarterman (Miami)

Evan Weaver (California)

New Orleans added a first round value at linebacker with Baun in the 3rd round.  The contracts of Demario Davis, Alex Anzalone, Kiko Alonso, and Craig Robertson all expire at the end of the year though, so the Saints could look to add a player to develop at the position and play special teams. 

CORNERBACK

USATSI_13305367_168388561_lowres

Kindle Vildor (Georgia Southern)

Amik Robertson (Louisiana Tech)

Bryce Hall (Virginia)

Lamar Jackson (Nebraska)

Darnay Holmes (UCLA)

Troy Pride Jr. (Notre Dame)

A deep cornerback class was somewhat picked over by a run on defensive backs in the second and third rounds.  There are still a few good cover corners available though, and the Saints have questionable depth behind starters Marshon Lattimore and Janoris Jenkins. 

I’d only expect the Saints to trade a future draft pick if a specific player who they had at a possible Day 2 value slipped to the fifth round or lower. New Orleans has had luck with later draft choices during Head Coach Sean Payton’s tenure with the franchise. Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, David Onyemata, and Jahri Evans were added as 4th round picks, while Marques Colston and Zach Strief were terrific finds in the seventh round.

Several talented players may not even be drafted at all, and the Saints have often had luck in that venue. Remember that Pierre Thomas went undrafted, and defensive tackle Shy Tuttle and kick returner Deonte Harris were undrafted gems just a year ago.