Kristian: Saints should trade up in next week's Draft
by Kristian Garic,posted May 3 2014 9:24AM
The Saints have clearly and decisively rebuilt their defense in two off-seasons, and might be just one player away from being a truly dominant defense that can smother elite quarterbacks. Who is that player? Khalil Mack, OLB out of University of Buffalo. Herein lies the problem. Mack’s going to be long gone before the Saints select in round one of the NFL draft May 8th. Mack would make an immediate impact on an already young and talented Saints D. Most mock drafts don’t have him getting out of the top five picks.
Maybe I’m off my rocker, maybe I’m a little out there with this one, but I think the Saints should mortgage next year’s pick(s) to get him. That’s right, trade up from 27th overall to the top five!
If you’re the Saints, you don’t pull the trigger on this deal until he slips past the Texans and Rams with the first and second picks. Jacksonville is sitting pretty with the third overall pick, and might be in the best position to land Mack. The Saints would pay a hefty price to move up 24 spots to select him but I think it’s worth it. Mickey Loomis and company have been very willing to trade up in the first round of the draft. Since becoming the GM 12 years ago Loomis has pulled the trigger on three deals to move up in the first round.
It would likely cost New Orleans their 27th pick in 2014, their second round pick in 2014, their first rounder in 2015, and maybe a 3rd rounder in 2015. Maybe it’s too much of a Hollywood scenario, but maybe it’s a move that helps land the Saints back in the Super Bowl. Is Mack worth potentially three or four picks? Maybe not to a team that is rebuilding, but not for a team that has a legitimate chance at a Super Bowl this season.
Khalil Mack has been viewed by some draft experts and league personnel guys as the better prospect of South Carolina’s Jadaveon Clowney, who’s likely going to be the first player selected by Houston or any other team that moves up to the top spot. Sure Mack went to a small school, and the “level of competition debate” is used against him. The NFL is littered with players that have proven big finds from small schools; Vincent Jackson (Northern Colorado, Jahri Evans (Bloomsburgh), Marques Colston (Hoftsra), Joe Flacco (Delaware) just to name a few.