With this season’s end comes a likely end to a Hall of Fame career for franchise quarterback Drew Brees. The New Orleans Saints went for it all, as aggressively as any franchise in recent memory. New Orleans hasn’t won less than 11 games since 2016, but their current cap situation is a thing of nightmares, and they do not own a first-round pick in the NFL Draft. Perhaps this Saints 7-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft provides a spot of relief.
They currently only have four picks in the 2021 NFL Draft, and that is after the Atlanta Falcons hired new general manager Terry Fontenot from the Saints’ front office. More relief shall arrive once the compensatory picks from last season’s free agency cycle are finalized. We will cross that bridge once they become official.
Yet, with the salary cap woes on the horizon, draft strategy is critical. This may be a time to keep the feet moving and jab rather than throwing a couple of haymakers.
And jab they will.
Saints Pre-Senior Bowl 7-Round 2021 NFL Mock Draft
- Round 2, Pick 59: Terrace Marshall Jr, WR, LSU
- Round 3, Pick 74: Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern
- Round 3, Pick 82: Jabril Cox, LB, LSU
- Round 3, Pick 89: Bobby Brown, DT, Texas A&M
- Round 3, Pick 91: Quincy Roche, EDGE, Miami
- Round 4, Pick 102: Tommy Tremble, TE, Notre Dame
- Round 4, Pick 103: Kary Vincent Jr, CB/S, LSU
- Round 4, Pick 117: Davis Mills, QB, Stanford
- Round 4, Pick 126: Spencer Brown, OT, Northern Iowa
Saints 2021 NFL Mock Draft pick-by-pick analysis
Terrace Marshall Jr., WR, LSU
It may be surprising that the first pick of this mock draft comes at 59, but New Orleans is in quite the predicament. Subsequently, a flurry of trades had to be made to hoard draft picks, and one sacrifice happened to be their top asset in this year’s draft.
I swear, drafting three players from Louisiana State University was not on purpose. It is merely how the draft fell in the end. This selection might be a bit hopeful given Marshall’s abilities. Still, he was there in the simulator and impossible to pass on.
Marshall possesses the build of a traditional X receiver at the next level. He is 6-foot-3 and over 200 pounds. His speed is evident on tape. ESPN’s recruiting page listed his 40-yard dash at 4.53 seconds coming out of high school. Even if we’re apprehensive about that time before his college career, it’s fair to expect a time at or better with years of athletic training at a top-tier university and combine training.
Marshall provides a nice complement to a healthy Michael Thomas. This Saints 7-round Mock Draft needed to find that position, especially with Brees’ likely departure and the possibility of a Jameis Winston-led squad in 2021. Marshall flashed, both in the slot and outside, in the LSU offense. He provides a complete three-level threat for Sean Payton.
Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern
Newsome provides the ability to project as a starting outside cornerback at the next level. His appearance at the 74th pick is of outstanding value, given his abilities. However, in three seasons of Northwestern football, he’s only tallied 17 total games played. The tools are too much to pass on in a cornerback class seemingly falling off a cliff after the top few tiers.
Newsome has the length, athleticism, and fluidity to compliment Marcus Lattimore on the opposite side of a defense that is quite versatile. Janoris Jenkins is 32 years old and, if cut, saves New Orleans $7 million against the cap in 2021. So taking a cornerback in this Saints 7-round Mock Draft seems like a safe bet.
Jabril Cox, LB, LSU
Cox took a plane from North Dakota to the Bayou as a graduate transfer in 2020. The redshirt senior brought a different element to the position for the LSU defense. He’s a linebacker that can legitimately cover. While at North Dakota State, he played a lot in the slot and as an overhang defender. Because of that, he appears to be lacking a bit in his instincts.
So, pairing him with veteran linebacker Demario Davis in this Saints 2021 NFL Mock Draft should quell concerns. Cox will be a popular name for mock drafters around this draft position, given the added value he brings against the pass. His length allows him to make plays outside of his frame and should help him stack blockers as he develops the position’s finer points.
Bobby Brown, DT, Texas A&M
The Saints (and every other team that I do a 7-round NFLMock Draft for) will most likely arrive at Brown’s name at some point. That’s just my prerogative. Brown is an absolute monster. At 6-foot-4 and 320 pounds, the young man is built like a doomsday bunker. He’s rocked up but remains flexible and explosive enough to make a difference as a pass rusher.
His draft stock is currently almost nonexistent now, but he is a name that will fly up boards as more people get their eyes on him. His hands are absolute hammers, and he moves like a dancing bear. The only thing holding him back from warranting a premium pick is his position.
As a one-technique defensive tackle, he won’t be on the field for most third downs, but he is more than capable of putting a center into the quarterback’s lap. He provides a great complement to David Onyemata.
Quincy Roche, EDGE, Miami
Quincy Roche is a perfect addition to Cameron Jordan, Trey Hendrickson, and Marcus Davenport. He brings the added element of pure speed and bend off the edge that threatens offensive tackles differently than the likes of Davenport and Jordan.
The Saints already have three pass rushers to enjoy on the outside. They have Onyemata and Sheldon Rankins as well. Yet, on a team that might be leaning on defense more in 2021, getting more pass rush help is never a bad thought.
Tommy Tremble, TE, Notre Dame
Tremble brings in yet another offensive weapon to facilitate easier targets over the middle of the field and the sidelines. Jared Cook doesn’t hurt the Saints’ cap number much in 2021, so Tremble can slowly work his way into the starting role at the next level. Once Cook is ready to hang up the cleats, Tremble is a candidate to progress into a full-time starter.
Tremble’s very much in the new mold of NFL tight end. Whether you call him a move tight end, a flex, or an H-back, Tremble is not one that should consistently be asked to block defensive linemen from having his hand in the dirt. Thankfully, Payton never fails to find a way to use guys to their strengths.
Kary Vincent Jr, CB/S, LSU
Vincent Jr. may be the fastest player in the 2021 NFL Draft class. Although he didn’t play in 2020, he made a big difference defensively for the 2019 National Champions. He played both in the slot and the back end as a safety, and I expect him to do the same at the next level.
The perfect role for him, particularly early, would be on special teams and as a rotational piece when New Orleans either goes “Big Nickel” or “Dime” personnel. If he can develop technically, there won’t be many receivers who can threaten him athletically in coverage. In this Saints 7-round NFL Mock Draft, taking the best player available late here makes sense on a team with many unknowns heading into 2021.
Davis Mills, QB, Stanford
Payton never has an issue building an offense around a somewhat limited athlete at the position. With Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill in town, the Saints can afford to sit and develop Mills as their QB3. He possesses an absolute hose of an arm and has flashes of some outstanding ball placement.
Mills will need to improve his ability to manipulate pressure in the pocket to find throwing windows. He needs to become more consistent throwing the ball downfield. Still, he is one of the only quarterbacks in this class after the top names worth spending a draft asset on, so when he was available in this Saints 2021 NFL Mock Draft, this was a quick selection.
Spencer Brown, OT, Northern Iowa
He might be too tall to play at the next level, but it hasn’t negatively affected him so far. Brown is a towering 6-foot-9, and it is abundantly clear on tape. However, despite resembling the Eiffel Tower, Brown is quite efficient as a pass protector. He’s especially adept with the more traditionally difficult vertical pass sets. It will be interesting to see how he holds up against shiftier edge rushers who can work him laterally with counters.
Another thing to watch is how he will anchor against speed-to-power when his strike doesn’t land before the rusher gets into his chest. Drafting a developmental right tackle as depth for the Saints makes sense when he can be had on the third day of a 7-round NFL Mock Draft. Watch for Brown at the Senior Bowl, as it could do a lot for his draft stock.
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