March 25, 2012

NOPF 2012 Saints Mock Draft v3.0

In light of the bounty scandal, creating a Saints-only mock draft in 2012 is a light workload.

When MLB Jonathan Vilma and others are lost to suspension, the Saints 2012 decapitated draft class will be more valuable than ever to the team's 2012 defensive depth.

Without a first round pick in the draft because of the Mark Ingram trade or a second round pick thanks to the bounty scandal coverup, the Saints won't pick until late Friday night, day two of the 2012 NFL Draft.

We'd expect the Saints' draft class to be focused on defense, where the team will suffer suspensions and carry a larger than normal defensive offseason roster.

We have intentionally avoided repeating any players picked in v1.0 or v2.0.

First round, 27th overall Pick - traded to New England
Second round, 59th Overall Pick - forfeited

Third round pick - New Orleans
Cal DL Trevor Guyton, 6'3.10, 285, 5.04 40
Versatile lineman is already familiar to Saints scouts because he played next to Cam Jordan.  They certainly saw his 2.5 sack, 3 TFL game against Washington State in 2010, when he and Jordan wrecked havoc. Like Jordan, Guyton played inside and out.  He pressed 225 pounds 31 times at the combine, a good number for an interior lineman.  He's regularly seen downfield and at the sidelines making tackles, and has very quick feet.  Guyton was often compared to Jordan as a senior, with his versatility and strength.

Fourth round pick - New Orleans
Arizona CB Trevin Wade, 5'10, 192, 4.53 40
A rollercoast collegiate career for Wade saw him star as a sophomore in 2009, with five interceptions and 71 tackles and rave reviews.  A junior season was mostly disastrous and as a senior had a resurgence.  But he didn't run at his own pro day despite a pedestrian 4.53 40 at the combine, but he looked good in positional drills and despite being undersized, has the makeup to be an impact nickel cornerback.  The reasons behind his poor junior season could be mostly between the shoulderpads.

Fifth round pick - New Orleans
Oregon State DB Brandon Hardin, 6'2.5, 220, 4.38 40
Hardin lost his redshirt senior season to a shoulder injury and hasn't played since December 4, 2010.  A 4.38 40 yard dash at 6'2.5, 220 pounds at the Oregon State Pro Day raised eyebrows across the league, who are now studying 2010 game film.  Only started for one season, but collected 63 tackles, three forced fumbles, a blocked kick, and three pass breakups.  He played cornerback for the Beavers but has the size to play safety and has experience on special teams.  Injuries have always been a problem, capping his exciting pro day news.

Sixth round pick (from Miami) - New Orleans
North Carolina State LB Audie Cole, 6'4, 248, 4.81 40
Big, strong, mauling linebacker had one of the better 3-cone drill times at the NFL combine, completing it at 6.96 ahead of all but five runningbacks at the combine.  Very productive at NC State with 276 career tackles, playing strongside linebacker until his senior year when he moved to inside linebacker.  Strong tackler, will blossom in a pro weight room.  Best when running upfield with the ball in front of him, an in-the-box type of linebacker.  Last season he led the team with 61 solo tackles and 5.5 sacks.  Collected 13.5 TFL, 4 PBU, 4 QB hurries, 4 FF's and a fumble recovery.  Running only a 4.81 40 and with poor coverage skills, Cole fits as a middle linebacker in the NFL but has experience as an over-the-TE "elephant" strongside linebacker.

Seventh round pick - New Orleans
LSU LB Ryan Baker, 5'11 3/8, 232, 4.83 40
Undersized two-year starter at top-tier LSU program, Baker plays faster than he was timed at the combine and his Pro Day.  A fiery and intense defensive leader, Baker was a headhunter on defense and should take that same approach to special teams as a pro.  While he isn't likely to have the right build to immediately contribute on defense, special teams should be a fit because he has elite athleticism with 30 reps of 225 and fantastic intangibles.

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