The Draft Network sends Auburn pass rusher to the Saints in latest mock draft
One of the biggest questions facing the New Orleans Saints this offseason centers on their defensive line. A ton of players are headed for free agency, including starters like David Onyemata and Marcus Davenport as well as top backups in Tanoh Kpassagnon, Shy Tuttle, Kentavius Street, and Malcolm Roach. So it’s easy to see why pass rushers are a popular choice for New Orleans in the early rounds of recent mock drafts.
The Draft Network’s Keith Sanchez has the latest 2023 mock draft, linking the Saints to Auburn Tigers pass rusher Derick Hall in the first round. Here’s what they wrote of the pick:
“The Saints have been trying to find the next edge rusher to pass the torch to as Cameron Jordan is getting older. They take one more swing at it and select Derick Hall. Hall has a lot of potential as an edge rusher and a veteran like Jordan could help Hall refine his tools to reach his max potential as a player.”
Hall impressed NFL scouts and coaches at the Senior Bowl in January, weighing in at a very solid 6-foot-2 and 252 pounds with impressive 34-inch arms — boasting an 83-inch wingspan, one of the widest at the event. And he doesn’t let many opponents get past him. He’s missed just 25 tackles on over 1,900 defensive snaps in four years at Auburn, wrapping up ball-carriers for 90 defensive stops (typically counted as stopping the offense for less than half the yardage needed to convert a first down). He’s been a consistent pass rusher off the edge, too, racking up 133 pressures and 22 sacks per Pro Football Focus charting.
But would the Saints even consider him? Hall is about ten pounds lighter than the defensive ends the Saints have drafted since Jeff Ireland took over their scouting department, though you have to think that philosophy changes a bit without defensive line coach Ryan Nielsen working with the unit. Maybe his replacement Todd Grantham has a different philosophy. Either way, Hall is a talented prospect in this year’s draft, and he’s someone we’ll be watching closely in the months ahead.
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