12: R1P12: SHELDON RANKINS, DT, LOUISVILLE
6’1 299 lbs.
FIT: Last year, the Saints tried running a 4-3 base defense with Kevin Williams and John Jenkins at starter. While there were times Williams played well, watching Jenkins play was often about as pleasant as I imagine a brain aneurysm to be. The main problem at this position, there is not enough talent. Rankins might be the best in an absolutely loaded class, having turned many senior tackles into human turnstiles at Senior Bowl practices.
47: R2P16: SHILIQUE CALHOUN, DE, MICHIGAN STATE
6’4 251 lbs.
FIT: Akiem Hicks was so inept for the Saints defense, he was ousted by what could perhaps have been the worst starting 4-3 end in the league: Bobby Richardson. That may be a little harsh, but nobody’s claiming Richardson’s a starter. The Saints must find an answer opposite Cam Jordan and they may not have the cap space to find a starter in free agency. This class is solid at this position at the top, with zero depth.
78: R3P15: DEION JONES, OLB, LSU
6’1 222 lbs.
FIT: Watching the Saints attempt to cover a tight end will either make you do a spit-take or cause indigestion, depending on your allegiance. Point being, they can cover a tight end like an umbrella with a hole in it can cover a person in the rain. This was especially prominent in the Tennessee game when the Saints allowed Craig Stevens and Anthony Fasano to combine for 5 catches, 58 yards and a game-winning touchdown in overtime. Jones possesses sideline-to-sideline coverage ability and would inject athleticism and speed into a defense that’s seemingly allergic to the concept.
DRAFT PROFILES: http://www.nfl.com/draft/2016/profiles/deion-jones?id=2555162
113: R4P14: STERLING SHEPARD, WR, OKLAHOMA
5’10 194 lbs.
FIT: Marques Colston is out, and supposedly, Brandon Coleman is the answer. While the big, tall and athletic Coleman looked good in spot duty last year, the Saints need to think about injecting more talent into the receiving corps. I begged the Saints to grab Tyler Lockett last year, now with Shepard falling due to his size and a perceived weakness overall at the position, the Saints would be wise to grab the smooth, polished OU product if he’s available.
152: R5P13: REES ODHIAMBO, G, BOISE STATE
6’4 314 lbs.
FIT: The Saints just cut ties with long-time starter Jahri Evans, and after jettisoning Ben Grubbs last season, there is very little talent at the position in the building. Depending on what they do in free agency, Sean Payton still counts this as one of the team’s biggest needs. Odhiambo is a talented prospect from outside the Power 5 who could be a steal in the fifth, might remind some fans of a certain Bloomsburg prospect.
DRAFT PROFILES: http://www.nfl.com/draft/2016/profiles/rees-odhiambo?id=2555142
235: R7P16: ANTWAUN WOODS, DT, SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
6’0 318 lbs.
FIT: Remember what I said about the Saints situation at defensive tackle? It’s that bad. With the draft so deep at defensive tackle, it makes sense to grab one at this late stage as well, and Woods has a workable frame to go with a high-motor and excellent work ethic. He’ll fit right in with the locker room Payton wants to build and might even find some playing time in a rotational role.
DRAFT PROFILES: http://www.nfl.com/draft/2016/profiles/antwaun-woods?id=2555518