This 2024 NFL mock draft has the Saints adding Georgia playmaker Brock Bowers, a gifted receiver who lines up at tight end:
We’re off and running into bowl season as the college football playoff tournament takes shape, and the New Orleans Saints were projected to pick one of the stars of the show in this mock draft: Georgia Bulldogs tight end Brock Bowers. The Saints went into Week 13 slotted in at the No. 12 overall pick in the 2024 NFL draft.
Slotting Bowers is difficult because he’s not a typical tight end. He’s more of a weapon in the mold of Kyle Pitts coming out, and all that athletic promise and collegiate accomplishment hasn’t yet paid first-round dividends on the No. 4 pick of the 2021 NFL draft. Bowers has a chance to go much higher than this, and the Saints can surely use a versatile, game-breaking target.
There’s no arguing with Bowers’ production. A receiving-first tight end, he’s caught 56, 63, and 51 passes in his three-year career at Georgia for yearly totals of 882, 942, and 661 passing yards. That’s remarkable consistently. He’s scored 31 combined touchdowns as a receiver (26) and runner (5), too, going into Saturday’s SEC Championship Game with the Alabama Crimson Tide.
The Saints have plenty of names at tight end between Juwan Johnson and Foster Moreau (who both signed multiyear contracts this summer) with Jimmy Graham rounding out the group, but Derek Carr hasn’t gotten much out of them. Johnson has caught 18 passes for 142 yards and a touchdown in seven games; Moreau has totaled just 11 receptions for 115 yards and a score; and Graham’s lone catch this season was an 8-yard touchdown.
Talent at the position isn’t a problem. Johnson broke out last year with 42 catches for 508 yards and 7 touchdowns. Moreau peaked with 28 yards per game last season on the Raiders (with Carr throwing to him, mystifyingly) but he’s only beaten that number twice this year. Part-time quarterback Taysom Hill has more receptions (24) and yards (214) than the other tight ends.
It’s the play caller and quarterback. The Saints had to use their tight ends as blockers more heavily than expected early this year, but changes to the offensive line improved protection and freed them up to catch more passes; but Pete Carmichael isn’t scheming them many designed touches and Carr isn’t spreading the ball around. Chris Olave leads the team with 103 targets through 11 games. Alvin Kamara missed the first three games and still ranks third on the team with 61 targets. Carr must do a better job surveying the field, finding his open targets, and throwing them a catchable football. Or else we’ll be stuck here this time next year wondering why Bowers is underperforming, too.
Draft Wire’s Jeff Risdon gives the Vikings defense a boost in his latest mock draft.
Draft Wire’s Jeff Risdon unveiled his latest mock draft as the college football regular season has officially ended.
As it currently stands, the Minnesota Vikings are firmly in the playoffs and picking 20th. According to Risdon, that’s the perfect spot for UCLA EDGE Laiatu Latu to come off the board.
If his medical evaluations continue to check out, Latu figures to be long gone by this point. With Danielle Hunter and Jonathan Bullard both headed for free agency, taking a shot at the best pressure generator in the draft class makes a ton of sense.
The Danielle Hunter situation is one to monitor for Minnesota, especially with him having an actual argument for Defensive Player of the Year this season. Good teams don’t allow guys like that to walk.
The allure of a player like Latu is intoxicating. He’s physical, relentless and has an impressive repotoire of pass rush moves.
His concerns stem from a neck injury where the medical team at Washington forced him to medically retire. But his resurgence at UCLA has him back in first-round talks and possibly in the purple and gold next season.
Alabama pass rusher Dallas Turner is the most-picked player in Pro Football Focus mock drafts by New Orleans Saints fans:
It’s obvious that the New Orleans Saints need more help rushing the passer — their 18 sacks as a team are tied for the second-fewest in the NFL going into Week 13. Cameron Jordan, their franchise leader in sacks, has just two takedowns through 11 games this season. He can’t keep doing this on his own even if Carl Granderson has developed into a solid player for the Saints off the other end of the line.
So it’s no surprise that Saints fans using the Pro Football Focus mock draft simulator are making the pass rush a priority. PFF analysis found that the most-picked player by Saints fans is Alabama edge defender Dallas Turner, with 14.8% of mock drafts choosing him. Here’s what PFF’s Trevor Sikkema had to say about the fit:
It feels like it’s going to be a trench pick for the Saints this offseason, whether that’s the offensive or defensive line. Turner is more of an outside linebacker type of edge player and is having a career year as a pass-rusher for the Crimson Tide, sporting an 88.6 pass-rush grade. Turner has always displayed good explosiveness, but he is flashing added strength this season, too.
In scenarios where Turner has been unavailable, Saints fans have gone with Florida State defensive end Jared Verse 11.2% of the time. He’s someone we’re high on here at Saints Wire thanks to his speed off the edge and big frame meeting what the Saints look for athletically at 6-foot-4 and 260 pounds.
Turner is a great player in his own right, but his listed size (6-foot-4 and 242 pounds) would keep him from doing what he does best in New Orleans. Just like Zack Baun before him, he’d be miscast in a coverage role rather than playing close to the line of scrimmage — unless Dennis Allen’s defense drastically changes what they look for at the position in the spring.
2024 NFL mock draft roundup: Experts predict Saints will target pass rushers, offensive linemen, and wide receivers
Our latest 2024 NFL mock draft roundup found that the experts are predicting the New Orleans Saints will target pass rushers, offensive linemen, and wide receivers with their first pick in the upcoming selection event. And all of those positions make sense for a Saints team that has struggled to win at the line of scrimmage and consistently generate big plays.
Here’s a quick look at the 2024 draft prospects being linked to the Saints:
Dane Brugler’s 2024 mock draft has the Saints adding a first-round wide receiver in Florida State standout Keon Coleman:
There aren’t many NFL draft analysts more plugged in to how teams are thinking than Dane Brugler. The Athletic’s lead draft expert is well-connected with scouts and decision-makers around the league, so when he’s talking about upcoming college prospects (and the New Orleans Saints), it’s time to listen.
And Brugler released his first 2024 mock draft on Wednesday, which has dynamic LSU Tigers quarterback Jayden Daniels landing in the NFC South — but now with New Orleans. Daniels went off the board at No. 7 overall to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
A few picks later at No. 12, Brugler had the Saints getting more explosive on offense by picking Florida State standout Keon Coleman. Here’s why he went with the wide receiver:
The Saints love to draft flashy new toys, and Coleman comes batteries included and fully assembled. At 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds, he is a large target, but there is nothing lumbering about the way he moves. He is at his best winning at the catch point and can create explosive plays — New Orleans currently ranks 24th in the NFL in plays of 20-plus yards.
Coleman could be a good pick for the Saints. Despite Dennis Allen’s claims to the contrary, big plays have been hard to find for New Orleans. Chris Olave and Rashid Shaheed are responsible for 19 of the team’s 35 plays of 20 or more yards this season. There could be room for another receiver anyway given the uncertain future with Michael Thomas after this season, but another big-bodied playmaker who can win downfield would be nice to have either way. Maybe A.T. Perry can develop into a reliable target, but it’s worth considering a premium prospect like Coleman.
Still, receiver isn’t the Saints’ biggest team need. They’re down bad for pass rush help (their 18 sacks are tied for second-fewest) and there are players in the 2024 draft class who could help them. Some pass rushers who were picked after Coleman in Brugler’s mock that we like include UCLA sacks leader Laiatu Latu (No. 14 to the Los Angeles Rams) and Coleman’s Florida State teammate Jared Verse (No. 17 to the Arizona Cardinals). Cameron Jordan can’t do it on his own forever.
The Packers got a cornerback in Dane Brugler’s first mock draft of the 2024 cycle for The Athletic.
Dane Brugler’s first mock draft of the 2024 cycle — posted Wednesday at The Athletic following the conclusion of the regular season in college football — has the Green Bay Packers taking a cornerback in the first round.
At No. 13 overall, the Packers received Alabama cornerback Terrion Arnold.
Brugler highlighted Arnold’s “athletic traits and competitiveness” as a fit for Green Bay and said some teams will have Arnold higher on the draft board than teammate Kool-Aid McKinstry.
Alabama lists Arnold at 6-0 and 196 pounds. The redshirt sophomore and Florida native has five interceptions, 10 pass breakups, six tackles for loss and a forced fumble so far in 2023. He broke up nine passes and had an interception during an Freshman All-American season in 2022.
The Packers have All-Pro Jaire Alexander locked up long-term and rookie Carrington Valentine has displayed legitimate flashes of starting ability since Rasul Douglas was traded to the Buffalo Bills, but nickel cornerback Keisean Nixon will be a free agent after this season and 2021 first-round pick Eric Stokes is a question mark given his recent injury history.
Here’s Brennen Rupp’s breakdown of Arnold:
NFL teams are going to love Terrion Arnold’s competitive spirit. He is more than willing to mix it up against the run and he’s combative at the catch point. He has quick feet and everything works in unison in his backpedal. A high school safety, Arnold has the versatility to play on the boundary or in the slot. With his athleticism, fluidity in coverage and coverage instincts, Arnold has the makings to develop into a lockdown corner.
According to Pro Football Focus, Arnold has allowed 35 catches on 65 targets into his coverage and has the highest overall coverage grade on Alabama’s defense. He’s forced 12 incompletions and has a 50.5 passer rating allowed into his coverage. Arnold’s coverage grade ranks seventh among cornerbacks with at least 250 coverage snaps in college football this season. He’s also second among cornerbacks in interceptions.
In Brugler’s mock, Caleb Williams went No. 1 overall to the Chicago Bears, Drake Maye went No. 3 overall to the New England Patriots and Jayden Daniels went No. 7 overall to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Keep in mind, Brugler had the Packers taking Lukas Van Ness in his second mock draft of the 2023 cycle last year.
Probably the last thing fans want is another first-round defensive lineman.
In looking at the remainder of the Washington Commanders’ 2023 schedule, it’s difficult to see many wins remaining. Currently 4-8, Washington has the Dolphins, Rams, Jets, 49ers and Cowboys on the schedule.
Sure, the Rams and Jets aren’t very good, but New York has an excellent defense, while the Rams will be playing at home, which means a West Coast trip for the Commanders.
You could make the case Washington is playing worse than anyone at the current moment.
Those changes will be on the roster, too. Washington traded edge rushers Chase Young and Montez Sweat ahead of the NFL trade deadline. Outside of the anomaly against the Giants in Week 11, the Commanders have struggled to sack opposing quarterbacks.
That means Washington will look to add pass-rush help in 2024. Will that come via free agency or the 2024 NFL draft? The Commanders will have five picks in the first three rounds, and they’ll almost certainly be selecting in the top 10, perhaps higher.
Washington currently holds the No. 7 overall pick if the draft were held today. In a new mock draft from Curt Popejoy of Draft Wire, he has the Commanders finding pass-rush help in UCLA edge Laiatu Latu.
The Commanders could be in dire need of pass rushers next season and Latu is one of the best.
Latu is 6-foot-5, 265 pounds with elite production. As a junior in 2022, Latu was an All-Pac-12 selection with 10.5 sacks. He’s been even better in 2023, with 13 sacks.
Here’s what ESPN draft analyst Jordan Reid thinks of Latu:
UCLA EDGE/OLB Laiatu Latu is the most gifted pass rusher in the country. So many moves in his bag already. Even when he doesn’t get home, QBs feel his presence off of the edge.
Washington could use a game-wrecker. Sweat was a reliable player for four-plus seasons but could never be called a game-wrecker. Same for Young.
However, there are concerns with Latu. He began his career at Washington in 2019, and he was medically retired due to a neck injury. He transferred to UCLA before 2022 and was cleared. So that doesn’t appear to be a concern, but NFL teams will have him under the microscope ahead of the draft.
Selecting another defensive lineman will not excite Washington fans. It’s tough to predict what the Commanders will do until we see who the new general manager and coach are in January.
Seattle’s front office has to pursue more upgrades in the trenches, especially for the offensive line.
The Seahawks have gotten better in the trenches since they lost three games to the 49es last season. Problem is, the Niners have been even more active upgrading their personnel in the trenches. While Seattle added Leonard Williams, Jarran Reed and Dre’Mont Jones up front, San Francisco signed Javon Hargrave and traded for Randy Gregory and Chase Young. Add it all up and you still have a notoriously imbalanced matchup in the trenches, especially when the Seahawks have the ball.
And so we’re once again back to where we were heading into last offseason. In order to catch up with the NFC West leaders, Seattle’s front office has to pursue more upgrades in the trenches, especially for the offensive line.
With an eye on that, we’ve decided to run our first 2024 mock draft for the Seahawks. The team currently holds six picks in next year’s draft, beginning at No. 22 overall. Our focus going into the mock was to add help on both sides of the line of scrimmage and roll the dice on a quarterback. Here’s how we made out…
Draft Wire’s latest 2024 NFL mock draft has the Broncos selecting Penn State pass rusher Chop Robinson in the first round.
In his latest two-round 2024 NFL mock draft, Curt Popejoy of Draft Wire has the Denver Broncos selecting Penn State pass rusher Chop Robinson with the 13th overall pick in the first round.
Robinson (6-3, 240 pounds) has totaled four sacks and two forced fumbles through nine games with the Nittany Lions this fall.
“Chop Robinson is a little inconsistent but when he is on, he’s as good as any edge rusher in this draft,” Popejoy wrote on Draft Wire.
Quarterbacks went flying off the board early in Popejoy’s mock — he has Drake Maye (No. 2 overall), Caleb Williams (No. 3), Michael Penix Jr. (No. 4) and Bo Nix (No. 5) being picked before the Broncos even go on the clock.
Later in the draft, QBs J.J. McCarthy (No. 16), Jayden Daniels (No. 38), Quinn Ewers (No. 39), Shedeur Sanders (No. 41) and Riley Leonard (No. 62) are picked after Denver makes its first-round selection.