NFL Draft Wishlist: New Orleans Saints

The Saints have a lot of change ahead of them this year hiring Rob Ryan and switching the the 3-4 defense.  The change should benefit Martez Wilson and Junior Galette, two undersized defensive ends who should transition well into 3-4 outside linebackers.  The Saints, however do not have a true nose tackle which should be a big priority for them in the draft this year.  A young, high-potential pass rusher and cornerback would help out the New Orleans defense as well.  On the offensive side of the ball, New Orleans lost left tackle, Jermon Bushrod leaving a glaring need for someone to protect Drew Brees’ blindside.

Jan 26, 2013; Mobile, AL, USA; Senior Bowl south squad offensive lineman Lane Johnson of Oklahoma (69) against the Senior Bowl north squad during the first half of the Senior Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Round 1 – Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma – This seems like a bit of a reach but if Lane Johnson fell to the Saints at 15, it’s not something New Orleans could pass up.  Their #1 priority should be protecting the team’s most valuable asset, Drew Brees.  The Saints know that they have to make a splash with their first round pick being that they don’t have a 2nd rounder this year, so for them I say Lane Johnson or bust.  Lane Johnson is probably the most athletic offensive lineman, the rich man’s Terron Armstead running a sub-4.8 40 as an offensive lineman.  If Lane isn’t there at pick #15, look for them to trade down for a dynamic first round defender like Ohio State’s Johnathan Hankins or Texas A&M’s Damontre Moore as well as an extra pick.

Jan 26, 2013; Mobile, AL, USA; Senior Bowl south squad defensive lineman Montori Hughes of Tennessee-Martin (54) against the Senior Bowl north squad during the first half of the Senior Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Sleeper – Montori Hughes, NT, UT-Martin - This is a steal for any team in need of a nose tackle.  Montori Hughes is a true nose tackle whose had some issues off the field.  Originally an SEC defender anchoring the defensive line for the Tennessee Volunteers, Montori is a steal for a 3rd day pick.  He’s a highly physical and naturally athletic nose tackle earning the start for the Volunteers by the beginning of his sophomore season.  Unfortunately, he was dismissed from the Volunteers after failing to make grades and getting involved in a “dorm room incident.”  This, coupled with the depth at 2013′s interior defensive line class is probably the main reason he falls from the 2nd day to the 3rd day which makes him a potential gem as a 4th – 7th round pick.  Luckily, there are no classes or dorm rooms in the NFL. With a Ryan guiding him on defense combined with an excellent motivator in Sean Payton, Montori Hughes can potentially be a steal in this draft for New Orleans (or any team with great defensive coaching in need of a true nose tackle).

Topics: Damontre Moore, Drew Brees, Jermon Bushrod, Johnathan Hankins, Junior Galette, Lane Johnson, Martez Wilson, Montori Hughes, New Orleans Saints, NFL Draft, Terron Armstead

Want more from NFL Spin Zone?  
Subscribe to FanSided Daily for your morning fix. Enter your email and stay in the know.
  • http://www.musketfire.com/ Joe Soriano

    Oh man, the Saints would love to snap up Johnson at 15, but they’ll probably end up taking a DT there. Great write-up on Hughes, learned about a new prospect today haha.

    • http://twitter.com/GoshCarter Josh Carter

      Well they need a nose tackle so unless they traded up for Star Lotulelei, they got to really like Johnathan Hankins to go D line, but they of course can pick up a DT and convert him to a 3-4 DE