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Inside the NFL Draft: Saints team needs

New Orleans needs to upgrade the defensive front seven. National Football Post

March 28, 2012
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Without a first round pick (2011 trade to move up for Mark Ingram) and the loss of this year’s second round pick (due to league discipline), the Saints won’t be on the clock until the 89th overall selection. Let’s take a look at the prospects that could fit in New Orleans as the club tries to make some upgrades to the defensive front seven.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
2011 RECORD: 13-3
FIRST SELECTION: NO.89 OVERALL (3RD ROUND)

TOP PRIORITY: DT

Mike Martin ICONMichigan DT Mike Martin.

Alameda Ta'amu DT, Washington: This is the kind of guy who has the ability to anchor the middle of an NFL defense in either a 3-4 or 4-3 front. Needs to do a better job finding the football, but overall he looks like a starter who you eventually will be able to win with in the NFL.

Mike Martin DT, Michigan: The kind of prospect you don't want to bet against. Is limited and doesn't have the kind of frame to get all that bigger, but I can see him working his way into a rotation as a 43 nose in the NFL and being the kind of guy coaches love.

SECONDARY PRIORITY: LB

Lavonte David OLB, Nebraska: He's undersized, but is instinctive. Might be limited to more of a cover two type scheme only, but looks like a starting caliber weak side guy to me early in his NFL career.

Mychal Kendricks ILB, California: Is a thick, shorter compact backer who explodes through contact and is a real violent striker. Finds the ball quickly vs. the run and has the range to make plays in pursuit. Lacks ideal size however to stack and shed and lacks a great feel in zone. However, as a thumper inside with the potential to get into the backfield as a blitzer who should get plenty of looks from 34 teams in need of a versatile, high motor backer.

MID RANGE PRIORITY: WR, DE

B.J. Cunningham WR, Michigan State: Isn't real dynamic of an athlete and it takes him a bit to build speed. However, he can box out defenders, go get the football and break tackles after the catch.

Marvin McNutt WR, Iowa: A tall, long armed receiver who can win off the line and use his big frame to box and go get the football. A big target who looks capable of fighting for a starting role now at the next level. However, is never going to be a guy who separates a ton in any area of the game.

Jake Bequette DE, Arkansas: Not a special athlete, more of a savvy power player, but works hard rushing the pocket, has a great motor and can play the run. A rotational guy early on who has the ability to earn a starting role, but looks more like a rotational guy.

Olivier Vernon DE, Miami: Had the makings of becoming a draftable prospect as a sophomore. However, wasted a year in 2011 and now despite having some natural talent, he's still raw and looks more like a talented late round/free agent with limited production.

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