Saints replace DT David Onyemata in Todd McShay’s updated mock draft
Now that the New Orleans Saints have found their quarterback in Derek Carr, it’s time to shift focus to other areas of need this offseason — especially their defensive line. The Saints risk erosion up front with multiple starters and key backups headed for free agency. Re-signing defensive end Tanoh Kpassagnon was a good move, but it’s going to tough to replace both David Onyemata and Marcus Davenport as well as rotation players like Kentavius Street, Shy Tuttle, and Malcolm Roach.
ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay has the Saints addressing at least one of those losses with his latest mock draft. He likes the fit of Clemson Tigers defensive tackle Bryan Bresee in New Orleans at the 29th pick:
Bresee is coming off a tough season — he recorded just 3.5 sacks and dealt with a kidney infection and the death of his sister — but we can see the talent on the tape. At 6-6 and 298 pounds, he displays great upper-body strength and quick hands. I like the fit as a run-plugger in the middle of the Saints’ defense, replacing free agent David Onyemata. The Saints’ run D gave up 4.5 yards per carry last season, which ranked 20th.
Bresee was unproductive in three years at Clemson, producing just 60 pressures and 8 sacks on 558 snaps as a pass rusher per Pro Football Focus charting. He also didn’t make many tackles, though it’s worth noting he didn’t miss many of the opportunities that came his way, either. He did the dirty work up front to free up Clemson’s athletic edge rushers and linebackers to knife through gaps in the line and make plays.
There’s certainly a role for a player with his physical tools; the Saints haven’t had a true nose tackle since they parted with Malcom Brown a few years back, and their run defense has suffered for it. But Bresee’s one-dimensional style of play would be a risky investment in the first round. If the Saints are going to add a defensive tackle in that spot, they need to find someone opponents need to plan for on all three downs.
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