The New Orleans Saints just missed out on a playoff spot by finishing 9-8 last season. The last time the Saints did not qualify for the NFL Playoffs was in 2016. Now, the Saints will have to bounce back with new head coach Dennis Allen after Sean Payton sort of retired.
New Orleans will have to find some players in the NFL Draft that will put them back into playoff contention this season. However, the Saints only ended up with five picks in this draft. Each pick must be used wisely. Here is a look at who New Orleans drafted.
Round 1, Pick 11: Chris Olave - WR - Ohio State (6'0", 187 lbs, 65 receptions, 936 yds, 13 TD).
The Saints really needed to draft a high-level wide receiver because the team was forced to play too conservative last season since Michael Thomas missed the entire 2021 season due to an ankle injury. The lack of depth at wide receiver was one of the main reasons why New Orleans missed the playoffs. Olave is a game-breaker who consistently finds the end zone. He will start right away.
Round 1, Pick 19: Trevor Penning - OT - Northern Iowa (6'7", 325 lbs).
New Orleans also needed to draft a left tackle that will start right away after Terron Armstead signed with the Miami Dolphins back in March. Penning fits the bill after starting for three seasons at left tackle at Northern Iowa.
Round 2, Pick 17: Alontae Taylor - CB - Tennessee (6'0", 199 lbs, 60 tackles, 2 INT, 6 pass break-ups).
Taylor should see plenty of time in the secondary against multiple wide receiver sets. He is capable of being physical with taller receivers while having the speed to stay with faster receivers.
Round 5, Pick 18: D'Marco Jackson - LB - Appalachian State (6'1", 233 lbs, 119 tackles, 19 tackles for loss, 6 sacks, 1 INT, 5 pass break-ups).
Jackson could see some time on passing downs at outside linebacker due to having a good pass rush as well as being able to cover in space.
Round 6, Pick 15: Jordan Jackson - DT - Air Force (6'4 1/2", 294 lbs, 12.5 tackles, 7.5 sacks).
Jackson should see some time in the defensive rotation for the Saints.
Fortunately, New Orleans made their picks count with two definite starters in Olave and Penning. Grade: B+.