The New Orleans Saints netted another first round pick in their blockbuster trade that sent speedy wideout Brandin Cooks to the New England Patriots. The Saints now possess the 32nd pick in this year’s draft, and there are a wide range of prospects they could take here. Let’s take a look at some of the most intriguing players the Saints could add to their roster.
Tre’Davious White- CB- Louisiana State- 5’11, 192 lbs.
White is the latest in the long line of highly touted secondary prospects from LSU, and if the Saints don’t think there’s any corner worth taking with their first first-rounder, he could very well end up wearing black and gold next year. He’s a great man corner, with the speed and athleticism to cover both outside and slot receivers. His technique is also another important part of his game- White has exceptional footwork and reaction abilities. He also brings skills in the special teams phase of the game, with experience as a gunner and multiple return touchdowns in his college career. On the other hand, concerns about his slight frame persist, and White’s less than stellar tackling abilities have some questioning if he can be an every down player in the NFL. However, White would still be a smart pick for the Saints, owners of the NFL’s worst passing defense last season. Adding a pure cover corner with speed would be an immediate upgrade.
Obi Melifonwu- S- Connecticut- 6’4, 224 lbs.
Melifonwu is this year’s combine warrior- he used the event to showcase absolutely freakish athletic skills and predictably, his name has rocketed up draft boards. The top two safeties in this draft, Jamal Adams and Malik Hooker, will be off the board by the time the Saints pick earlier this round, so taking a safety here would make sense. Melifonwu has elite physical ability, as evidenced by his 4.40 40-time, 11’9 broad jump, and 44″ vertical. This would also improve the Saints pass defense, as they are lacking a franchise cornerstone at the safety position. Melifonwu may not have the best instincts or cover abilities, but his outlandish physical traits make him an intriguing prospect.
Christian McCaffrey- RB- Stanford- 5’11, 202 lbs.
Though the Saints will most likely be considering defensive players with this pick, the Saints could pick up the Stanford running back if McCaffrey falls this far in the first round. An offensive weapon like McCaffrey could not only improve the Saints’ running game, but help offset the loss of Brandin Cooks. McCaffrey demonstrated his explosiveness and big play ability over the course of his illustrious college career, breaking Barry Sanders’ record for most all-purpose yardage in one season. McCaffrey has elite speed and agility, but his most intriguing skill is his ability to play in the slot. This gives him a level of versatility that surely supersedes any misgivings about his stature and level of physicality.
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