ESPN NFL draft analysts Mel Kiper and Todd McShay turned in their final mock drafts this morning. Kiper went with a bit of a wild card, vaulting BYU pass-rusher Kyle Van Noy to the New Orleans Saints at No. 27.
I haven’t seen many analysts projecting Van Noy that high, but I agree with Kiper’s thoughts on how Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan would find a creative way to use such a versatile talent.
Projecting New Orleans’ pick is obviously a tricky business, though. I tallied up a total of 33 mock drafts from either national media outlets that cover the entire league or local media outlets that cover the Saints. And there are a total of 16 different projections.
The most popular is USC receiver Marqise Lee. And I would be right there with them if I felt like Lee would fall to No. 27. But I think it’s highly unlikely he slips that far. He’s too much of a dynamic talent. I think the Saints will have to trade up to get him (which is definitely a possibility).
Here’s the list of projections for the Saints:
USC WR Marqise Lee – 5
USC C Marcus Martin – 4
Florida State WR Kelvin Benjamin - 3
Ohio State CB Bradley Roby – 3
Ohio State LB Ryan Shazier – 3
TCU CB Jason Verrett – 3
Oregon State WR Brandin Cooks – 2
Michigan State CB Darqueze Dennard – 2
Missouri DE Kony Ealy – 1
Auburn OLB Dee Ford – 1
Nebraska CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste – 1
Penn State WR Allen Robinson – 1
Louisville DE Marcus Smith – 1
BYU OLB Kyle Van Noy - 1
Trading up (for Cooks) – 1
Trading down (for Jean-Baptiste) – 1