- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
The 2022 NFL draft officially begins today. The New Orleans Saints are set to select at pick Nos. 16 and 19. Whether they move up again or sit tight remains to be seen. But top candidates should be within reach either way at positions of need for New Orleans.
The Saints are in dire need of a dynamic wide receiver that can stretch the field opposite wideout Michael Thomas who is expected to make his return in 2022. They’ll also be looking to replace veteran assets at key positions. Left tackle is wide open with the departure of Terron Armstead and the team could use some safety help on defense after Marcus Williams took his new deal with the Baltimore Ravens and Malcolm Jenkins announced his retirement.
Perhaps the sneakiest need for New Orleans is in the defensive interior. The Saints have a lot of young talent, but only one bona fide starter in David Onyemata. Here are the top three prospects available at each position of need according to Saints Wire’s Dylan Sanders top 100 big board.
Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports
Garrett Wilson, Ohio State (8)
Jameson Williams, Alabama (11)
Chris Olave, Ohio State (18)
New Orleans should be in great position to take advantage of a very good wide receiver class. This group is deep, but the talent at the top is undeniably a place the Saints should look to capitalize.
Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports
Ikem Okonwu, NC State (1)
Evan Neal, Alabama (3)
Charles Cross, Mississippi State (17)
There is a lot of talent here in the top three, but if the Saints want to take advantage of it they’ll likely need to trade up. However, Charles Cross could take a tumble thanks to Mississippi State’s air raid offense.
Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports
Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame (5)
Jaquan Brisker, Penn State (20)
Lewis Cine, Georgia (29)
The Saints could wait around in this position with great prospects beyond the top three. But Brisker could be worth the investment at 19 if options at other positions of need become depleted. Of course a falling Kyle Hamilton, once considered the best overall prospect of this draft, could change a lot.
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Devonte Wyatt, Georgia (15)
Jordan Davis, Georgia (21)
DeMarvin Leal, Texas A&M (28)
New Orleans should be able to find a complementary starter next to David Onyemata in this group. Davis may be a perfect option to finally replace Malcom Brown, who the Saints traded away ahead of the 2021 season. Though they’ll have to invest highly for his position after dominating the NFL Combine.
Robert McDuffie-USA TODAY Sports
Malik Willis, Liberty (27)
Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati (30)
Sam Howell, North Carolina (43)
Kenny Pickett is QB5 on Dylan’s list and I don’t disagree. This group of passers is so volatile in terms of draft stock that their draft positions could be all over the place. And while I don’t personally believe the Saints should invest in a signal caller this year, at least not highly, it doesn’t mean they won’t.