Ross Jackson

Final Day's Crescent City Top Five+

Here are my final wants for the last day of the NFL Draft! I’m using the term “Top Five” loosely here as there are four rounds and potentially five picks ahead of us. Though it’s very likely we’re aggressive today and walk away with 2-4 picks at most.

These are some of the players whose names I’d love to hear called in any of the final four rounds.

1. Miami TE Christopher Herndon

If the Saints want a movable piece as a TE to contrast the already four in-line tight ends on the roster, they may turn to Jimmy Graham’s alma mater the U. Herndon could be a great asset to the Saints team with insanely good RAC ability and athleticism. Want a TE that can line up in the slot? Got eem. Want someone that can line up in the back field? Got eem. Want someone that can line up out wide? Got eem. Herdon, I believe could be a great addition and Sean Payton can gameplan around him to keep him from being a telegraphed one-trick pony. He’s also an option in the screen game, which we know our offense loves to pull.

Alternative pick: Jaylen Samuels

2. Indiana TE Ian Thomas

(DRAFT BY CAROLINA PANTHERS 4.1)

The Saints are still in the market for a Tight End and there’s still plenty of talent available. If they want a tight end that is more of a speedy option that can line up and get down field, Thomas would be their guy. Lacks some of the escapabily of Herndon, but has greater speed. He’s not someone that’s going to be a starter right out of the gate, but the Saints don’t need that. Even if they designate Fleener as a Post-June 1 cut, they’ll have three other tight ends and the rookie. He’d have a lot of folks to learn from, including guru Ben Watson. He’s a big target at 6’3″ 256 pounds and plays strong, not getting bumped off of his routes as much as we’ve seen with other prospects like Fumagalli. Thomas would immediately find a place in the offense and would be a great option to address the pass-catching tight end need for the next few years in the least.

Alternative picks: Troy Fumagalli, Durham Smythe, Dalton Shultz

3. South Carolina LB Skai Moore

It doesn’t look too much like we’re in the hunt for a linebacker early in the draft, but we could go there late. If we did, I’d be happy to see Moore as a selection because he’s a rangey, quick, and very agile performer on the second level. Adding depth to the linebacker corps is a good idea late in this draft despite the amount of talent we already have. Craig Robertson is entering the final year of his contract this year and we might need someone versatile to be able to swing in for all of the things he does. Moore likely won’t be the same kind of presence in terms of getting into the backfield because of his size, but his coverage skills and tackling ability are worth a look. The thing to consider about Moore is that he’s small (226 pounds). While there is time for him to bulk up to fit more of the traditional linebacker frame, he also could potentially be shifted to addition safety depth, which ain’t a bad look.

Alternate picks at this position: Shaquem Griffin, Josey Jewell, Jack Cichy, Sione Tehuema

4. Tulane CB Parry Nickerson

Nickerson has come on big time these last few weeks and I’d love to see him end up staying home in New Orleans to play for the Saints. His 4.32 40 yard dash is what brought him into national spotlight but he’s been a local hero for the Green Wave for quite some time. Setting records in interceptions he’s noted as one of the best to ever play the cornerback position at Tulane. Though a little undersized, he’s got great ball skills and concentration which would be a welcome add to the Saints secondary who has become hungry for turnovers.

Alternative Picks: Holton Hill, Anthony Averett, Kevin Tolliver II

5. Northwestern S Godwin Igwebuike

If they Saints are still looking to fill that Joker role in the defense, Igwebuike could be the dude. He has the ability to play any secondary position and would be an incredibly flexible piece for Dennis Allen to deploy. He’s got great speed with a 4.44 40. He’s not super reliable in coverage but is not afraid to contest a catch and can win them when he gets in the right position. His biggest plus is his ability to potentially fill the Vaccaro role in run support.

Alternative Picks: Siran Neal, Troy Apke