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NFL Network’s Peter Schrager has seemed to hone in on one selection for the New Orleans Saints at No. 19 overall, selecting the same player in his last two mock drafts. Schrager’s mock drafts are known to not be what he thinks of certain players, but instead based on what he has heard from sources around the league. So maybe there’s something to this.
During both his April 7 mock draft 1.0 and updated April 19 mock draft 2.0 Schrager has projected Georgia Bulldogs defensive tackle Jordan Davis at to the Saints at No. 19. Davis is listed as the 18th overall prospect on my 2022 big board.
Davis was an interior lineman at Georgia that struggled to stay on the field, playing at 360 pounds. He averaged fewer than 24 snaps per game during his Bulldogs career. He then dropped major weight, showed up at the NFL scouting combine at a svelte 340 pounds, and then achieved one of the most athletic performances of all time. He posted a perfect 10.0 RAS score, which he know lines up with what New Orleans values.
It will take a good defensive staff to get the most out of Davis and New Orleans certainly offers that. Georgia does not scheme production on the defensive line, emphasizing more on creating pressure through blitzes. As for run defense, you will be hard pressed to find someone who offers more than Davis. He’s a force.
The main issue some will have with the selection is the positional value of taking a defensive tackle in the first round. Most believe that you can get a similar level of output from taking an interior defender in the sixth or seventh round. The Saints have gotten by with a number of undrafted players in the lineup behind David Onyemata, a fourth-round pick.
Overall, I think it would certainly earn a volatile reaction as fans may be tired of taking unproductive or part-time players along the defensive line early. However, the potential that Davis provides is limitless, and Saints defensive line coach Ryan Nielsen could help him accomplish a special NFL career.