Tracking the New Orleans Saints’ Top 30 prospect visits ahead of 2023 NFL draft
And we’re off. The New Orleans Saints have begun scheduling visits with prospects eligible to be picked in the 2023 NFL draft at their team facility in Metairie. Because teams are limited to just 30 of these private meetings, they’re often referred to as the “Top 30” visits each spring. Teams can host 2023 draft prospects at their headquarters from March 7 to April 19, which isn’t as much time as you’d think when 32 different franchises are fighting for time with the same players.
These meetings don’t necessarily mean that the Saints are going to pick a player. Sometimes it’s a smokescreen to disguise interest, or an interview looking for insight to a future opponent. And not all 30 of the visits the Saints are scheduling will be reported; left guard Andrus Peat made the trip to New Orleans before the 2015 draft, but it went unreported in the media before the Saints picked him in the first round.
Eventually, every team will have met with nearly every prospect in the draft at some point. So take these news updates with a grain of salt. Still, it’s exciting to see new names linked to the black and gold:
DE Myles Murphy, Clemson
AP Photo/Chuck Burton
Reported on: March 14 (Source)
Relative Athletic Score: TBD (individual pro day scheduled for April 4)
Pro Football Focus grade: 79.0 on 586 defensive snaps in 2022
Projected draft range: Round 1
Murphy has been linked to the Atlanta Falcons with the No. 8 overall pick, and he’d be a big-time addition to their defensive front after former Saints assistant coach Ryan Nielsen brought free agents David Onyemata and Kaden Elliss with him. If the Saints believe they’ll see a lot of him soon, it makes sense to check in and learn what makes him tick.
LT Jaelyn Duncan, Maryland
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Reported on: March 15 (Source)
Relative Athletic Score: 9.42 (Full RAS card here)
Pro Football Focus grade: 61.6 on 803 offensive snaps in 2022
Projected draft range: Rounds 2 to 3
Duncan is one of the most-experienced pass protectors in the draft, but he still has mistakes and bad habits to work on in that phase. He’s at his best clearing the path on running plays and it’s easy to see him getting out in front of Alvin Kamara or Jamaal Williams for New Orleans, even if offensive tackle isn’t much of a priority with Ryan Ramczyk, Trevor Penning, and James Hurst under contract. He auditioned at right tackle during Senior Bowl practices.
DL Karl Brooks, Bowling Green
Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports
Reported on: March 16 (Source)
Relative Athletic Score: TBD (school pro day scheduled for March 20)
Pro Football Focus grade: 93.0 on 670 defensive snaps in 2022
Projected draft range: Rounds 3 to 4
Brooks is an oversized defensive end at 6-foot-3 and 300 pounds, so he could move inside to tackle after making the leap to the NFL. He was highly disruptive for Bowling Green and generated a ton of pressures last season, including double-digit sacks. He moves really well with impressive lower-body flexibility for a larger athlete. He held his own against blue-chip recruits from bigger schools at Senior Bowl practices.
CB Cory Trice, Purdue
Rich Janzaruk/Herald-Times / USA TODAY NETWORK
Reported on: March 16 (Source)
Relative Athletic Score: 9.63 (Full RAS card here)
Pro Football Focus grade: 75.4 on 656 defensive snaps in 2022
Projected draft range: Rounds 6 or 7
Trice is an underrated cornerback in this class who brings great length and some ball skills to the table. There’s a lot of physical tools to work with here. New Orleans looks set at cornerback on paper, but they’re always looking to stack depth and he would be an inexpensive (and much younger) alternative to Bradley Roby behind Marshon Lattimore, Alontae Taylor, and Paulson Adebo. He competed at the East-West Shrine Bowl in February.