The 1st Round of the NFL Draft is in the books, but the Saints still have five picks left in the six rounds (2nd, 4th, 5th, 5th, 6th).
The Black and Gold made an aggressive move to trade up and catch one of the top wide receivers in this year’s class, giving Drew Brees and the offense another weapon and filling a big need. Two of the top needs remaining are at cornerback and center.
Let’s take a look at how the rest of the Saints draft could shake out.
Round 2 (58th) Pierre Desir, CB, Lindenwood University: The Saints went offense in Round 1 and go defense in Round 2. Desir – 6’1, 198lbs – could be just what the Saints want and need. The demand for bigger cornerbacks is on the rise, and he fits the mold (he’s also got 33” arms. The Bucs and the Panthers both drafted 6’5 wide receivers, so the Saints could use another big body in the secondary. Desir played at a small-college, but he dominated at the level. Plus, the Sean Payton and Mickey Loomis have had luck with small school players (Marques Colston, Jahri Evans, etc.).
Round 4 (126th) Bryan Stork, C, Florida State: And just like that, the Saints have filled their three biggest holes. Stork – 6’4, 315lbs – brings versatility to the Saints offensive line, with experience at both guard and center. He met with the Saints pre-draft, and now he’ll don the Black and Gold. Tim Lelito will have first crack at the starting center job, but Stork will provide great competition.
Round 5 (167th) Preston Brown, ILB, Louisville: Inside linebacker isn’t a huge need for the Saints, but Brown – 6’1, 251lbs – provides solid value at the pick and could be a starter in a couple years. A three year starter, he led the Cardinals in tackles his last two years. His coverage skills need some improvement, but he’s a great run defender and has ample potential.
Round 5 (169th) Ronald Powell, DE/OLB, Florida: The Saints had the 4th most prolific pass-rush last season, and Powell – 6’3, 237lbs – will add to that. He was a hybrid defensive end and outside linebacker for the Gators. He injured the same ACL twice in 2012 but came back in 2013. He’ll be two years removed from the injuries in 2014 and could start out as a pass-rushing specialist. You can never have too many pass-rushers.
Round 6 (202nd) Cornelius Lucas, OT, Kansas State: The Saints add to their offensive line depth with this huge tackle. Lucas – 6’8, 316lbs – is a New Orleans native and former Edna Karr standout. He started at left tackle his final two years with K-State and was voted First Team All-Big 12 after his junior season. At 88” he has a ridiculously long wingspan. He had a private workout with the Saints before the draft, and the Black and Gold take the hometown player with their final pick of the 2014 NFL Draft.