2019 NFL Draft: New Orleans Saints team needs, draft picks, prospects to watch
With their 2018 season over, it's time for Saints fans to turn their attention to the draft
The Saints built quite an impressive roster heading into 2018 to take advantage of their final championship window with Drew Brees. With most of the key pieces returning, the Saints only have a few areas of concern to set themselves up for another run at a Super Bowl in 2019.
Here's what you need to know about the New Orleans Saints and the 2019 NFL Draft.
2019 draft picks
- Round 1: None
- Round 2: New Orleans
- Round 3: None
- Round 4: None
- Round 5: New Orleans
- Round 6: New Orleans, N.Y. Jets
- Round 7: New Orleans, Cleveland
The Saints emptied out the reserves in order to make a title push this year. It began by trading this year's first during the 2018 draft in order to move up for Marcus Davenport. The Saints then traded their third-rounder to the Jets for Teddy Bridgewater and a sixth. They made their last big move before the trade deadline, shipping their fourth to the Giants for Eli Apple. The Saints also added an extra seventh-rounder before the start of the season by sending Devaroe Lawrence to the Browns.
Biggest offseason needs
- Tight end
- Defensive tackle
- Running back
Unless Sean Payton envisions Dan Arnold as a go-to option at tight end, the Saints will need find a player capable of starting at the position this offseason. The offense still has an excellent weapon at running back in Alvin Kamara, but he'll need a new partner in the backfield with Mark Ingram hitting free agency.
On defense, the Saints could improve their depth throughout the roster but particularly inside on the line and at linebacker, where acquisitions might be able to challenge for a starting job.
Trapasso's prospects to watch
Irv Smith, TE, Alabama
The tight end class is overflowing with top-tier talent, and Smith is in the top tier. There's a chance he's available when the Saints go on the clock in Round 2. A late-ish bloomer, Smith erupted as a go-to target for Tua Tagovailoa in 2018 thanks to his burst off the line, strong hands, and agility after the catch. He'd be a tremendous fit as a intermediate, over-the-middle target for Drew Brees.
Terry Beckner, DT, Missouri
Given Sheldon Rankins' injury, the Saints could be in the market for a rotational defensive tackle in the middle rounds to pair with impressive backup Taylor Stallworth. Beckner is a powerful, quick-first-step interior lineman with heavy hands he deploys often.
T.J. Edwards, ILB, Wisconsin
While more of a thick, old-school thumper, Edwards is outstandingly quick recognizing play designs, and that allows him to play much faster than his athleticism allows on its own. With a talented defensive line in front of him to keep him relatively clean, Edwards could be a dynamic play-maker in the middle of New Orleans' defense.
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