Archive for April, 2011

WDSU 2011 Saints Mock Draft (Final Version!!!!!)
April 7, 2011

1st Round/24th Selection:

Brooks Reed

Outside Linebacker/Defensive End (6’3, 263 lbs.)

University of Arizona

Previous Pick: Version 1.0 Muhammad Wilkerson/DT/Temple

                              Version 2.0 Anthony Costanzo/OT/Boston College

WHY: The more I read about Reed, watch video of him and talk to people I trust about the draft I keep coming back to this Arizona Wildcat.  I keep envisioning this guy stepping right into Gregg Williams’ system and being productive as a rookie.          

Here is what ESPN NFL Draft Expert Todd McShay Says:

Flashes potential to be developed into a rush-linebacker in the NFL.  Not a great athlete but shows good quickness and adequate hip flexibility on tape when he occasionally drops into underneath zone.  Displays awareness and discipline in coverage. 

Is disciplined and executes his assignments. Shows good awareness in all phases of the game.  Is tough and aggressive.  Flies around the field and is clearly passionate about his craft.  Will chip TE when necessary.  Does a nice job of keeping outside leverage versus the run.

Hard worker and takes a passionate approach to game.  Developed into the leader of the defense and voted a team captain as senior. No off the field issues to our knowledge.  Made transition from H-back to DE/OLB in 2007.

2nd Round/58th Selection

Benjamin Ijalana

Offensive Tackle (6’3, 317 lbs.)

Villanova University

Previous Pick: Version 1.0 Donthay Moch/LB/Nevada

                              Version 2.0 Lance Kendricks/TE/Wisconsin

WHY: I was such a fan of Benjamin Ijalana that I almost put him down in my first Saints mock draft as the team’s first round selection.  Ijalana seems to have slid a bit in mock drafts but I think if he’s available when the Saints pick at #58 they’d be luck to get him.  I’m not sure this player will last to #58 but if he does he could be the franchise left offensive tackle the team needs to keep superstar Drew Brees clean.   

3rd Round/72nd Selection:

Sione Fua

Defensive Tackle (6’2, 307 lbs.)

Stanford University

Previous Pick: Version 1.o Nick Green/RB/Hawaii

                              Version 2.0: Fua was also our pick here in version 2.0

WHY: Fua really emerged this season on a very underrated Stanford defense.  Several of the scouts I talked to at the Senior Bowl say that Fua should immediately help any team that drafts him as a run stopper.     

3rd Round/88th Selection:

Casey Matthews    

Linebacker (6’2, 235 lbs.)

University of Oregon

Previous Pick: Matthews was my original pick for the Saints with the 88th overall choice.  I put West Virginia Running Back Noel Devine here but after sleeping on my decision I’ve gone back to Matthews (although I still think it’s possible a team falls in love with Matthews and grabs him in the 2nd round).

WHY: Matthews is a super productive college player who’ll fit nicely into the Saints 4-3 defense.  Matthews is capable of playing any of the 3 linebacker spots in Gregg Williams defense and he’ll contribute right away on special teams.  The one thing (negatively) that jumped out at me about Matthews while interviewing him at the Senior Bowl was how small he is…he’s not close to the 6’2 he’s listed at…and looks to be a bit lighter than 235 lbs…but I still loved watching him play for the Ducks and think with a creative offensive coordinator like Gregg Williams Matthews could flourish.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/585773-2011-nfl-draft-why-nfl-teams-will-regret-not-drafting-oregons-casey-matthews#page/1

7th Round/218th Selection (compensatory pick awarded to the Saints last month)

Lestar Jean

Wide Receiver ( 6’3, 215 lbs.)

Florida Atlantic University

WHY:  The next Marques Colston?  The Saints attended the FAU pro-day to watch him workout and he’s projected to be a 7th rounder…so at pick #218…Jean seems like a good fit.

7th Round/242nd Selection 

Chase Reynolds

Running Back(6’1, 195 lbs.)

University of Montana

Previous Pick: Version 1.0 Dom DiDicco/S/Pitt

                              Version 2.0 Reynolds was our pick here in version 2.0

WHY: Reynolds was a productive college player that seems to good for the Saints to pass up if he’s there in the 7th round.  Look at all the diamond-in-the-rough running backs the Saints have unearthed late in the draft and as free agents…Pierre Thomas, Lynell Hamilton, PJ Hill, Chris Ivory….Maybe Reynolds will be the next discovery.