The Saints have been using their stock of draft picks to build an immediate winner while the championship window is still open. Various trades to strengthen their roster leave them with just one pick in the first four rounds. So don't expect their collection of talent to look markedly different on Sunday after the draft as it does right now.
Below, you can check out which picks the Saints currently have, along with our projection of their top positional needs. I'll then build a war-room big board based upon players I think have some kind of chance of making it to their first pick before sharing multiple draft classes that make sense for the team from myself, Ryan Wilson and Chris Trapasso.
As for the actual draft, you'll be able to stream our live coverage right here on CBS Sports HQ (or download the CBS Sports app for free on any mobile or connected TV device) breaking down all the picks and everything you need to know during draft weekend.
Current draft picks
|6||177||from New York Jets|
The CBS Sports NFL writing staff to identify needs for each team heading into the draft. A helpful guide: any position group that had an average ranking worse than 16.0 (on a scale of 1 to 32) was considered a "need," while any that ranked worse than 23.0 (bottom-third of the league) was considered a "pressing need."
The Saints are the second team on our list to not have any needs or glaring needs. That makes sense given that they are about as all-in as a team can be right now as Drew Brees winds down his career. A firmer succession plan than Teddy Bridgewater (who re-signed, but on a one-year deal) might be the most obvious need here, but that's likely not a priority.
War room big board
With the Saints not scheduled to pick until late in the second round, it's nearly impossible to forecast who's going to be available when they're on the clock, but I'll give it a shot. Here's how I'd project the Saints' draft board for their first pick, considering only players I feel have some chance of making it in range:
- CB Rock Ya-Sin, Temple
- CB Justin Layne, Michigan State
- CB Julian Love, Notre Dame
- CB Sean Bunting, Central Michigan
- CB Trayvon Mullen, Clemson
- OT Greg Little, Ole Miss
- S Taylor Rapp, Washington
- CB Lonnie Johnson, Kentucky
- CB Joejuan Williams, Vanderbilt
- DE Charles Omenihu, Texas
- CB Isaiah Johnson, Houston
- CB Amani Oruwariye, Penn State
Seven-round mock drafts
|2||62||to Detroit|| |
|3||79||WR Emanuel Hall, Missouri||from DET/ATL*|
|4||111||CB Corey Ballentine, Washburn||from DET*|
|5||140||LB Te'von Coney, Notre Dame||from OAK*|
|5||168||to Oakland|| |
|6||177||to Oakland||from NYJ|
|6||184||S/CB Evan Worthington, Colorado||from DET*|
|6||202||to Detroit|| |
|7||231||to Detroit||from CLE|
|7||244||OT/G Joshua Miles, Morgan State|| |
Rather than making just one pick in the first four rounds, the Saints move down from No. 62 to get third- and fourth-round picks, using that third-rounder on a speed freak in Emanuel Hall who routinely tops 20 yards per catch. He's a long-term option for the Ted Ginn role in the offense.
With the other pick attained in the Detroit deal, the Saints scoop up a small-school corner in Ballentine who should be a special teams star while immediately competing for snaps on defense. The Saints then package two picks to move up in Round 5 for Coney, a good tackling linebacker who gives the team better depth. The Saints move up again in Round 6 to get Worthington, who can provide depth at both safety positions but also may have a role as a slot corner. With their final pick, the Saints nab a small-school offensive lineman with great athletic traits who they'll try to mold into an eventual starter.
More seven-round mocks:
(*) indicates pick acquired via trade
Check out more first-round mocks from CBS Sports.