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APC Community Mock Draft 2022: The Saints are up at No. 16

The Saints are on the clock after the Eagles picked up another weapon in Drake London at pick 15.

NCAA Football: Senior Bowl Practice Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

With the 15th pick of the APC Community Mock Draft, the Philadelphia Eagles selected a running mate for DeVonta Smith at WR, selecting Drake London out of USC. The talented tandem will give Jalen Hurts two high-level targets and add some necessary juice to the Philadelphia offense.

The New Orleans Saints recently traded up in the draft, trading their no. 18 pick and a 2023 first-round pick for the Eagles’ no. 16 and 19 picks. It’s unclear what the Saints’ motivation is at this time. This could easily be a way to ensure they’ll secure a top-end player who will contribute right away. It could also be part of a larger move up for a QB. While the Saints re-signed Jameis Winston, they’ll certainly be sniffing around upgrades somewhere in the draft after failing in their pursuit of Deshaun Watson. The Saints seem intent on competing this year, but they are undeniably in a transition period as they look to build their next Super Bowl contender. Just a year removed from Drew Brees’ retirement, head coach Sean Payton called it quits and the team promoted defensive coordinator Dennis Allen to head coach. After entering the off-season $75 million over the cap, New Orleans was forced to let go of safety Marcus Williams and offensive tackle Terron Armstead, leaving holes at those positions.

Whoever the Saints end up starting at QB will absolutely need a better complement of receivers. After pursuing Marquez Valdes-Scantling but coming up short, the team’s only proven talent at the position is Michael Thomas. With Alvin Kamara facing a suspension, drafting a weapon early will be vital. Jameson Williams would be a great pick here, providing Jameis Winston the consistent deep-ball threat that the offense lacks.

Watch out for an offensive tackle here as well. Terron Armstead is gone and the Saints need a blindside protector. Ryan Ramczyk is a stalwart on the right side but if the Saints are unwilling to move him left, the options left aren’t great. James Hurst has shown versatility across the line but it’s unlikely he is the long-term answer. And the Saints simply haven’t seen enough of 2021 sixth-round draft picks Landon Young. The Saints have shown a willingness to spend high draft picks on their line though. Trevor Penning and Bernhard Raimann are the highest-rated tackles left on the board and would shore up any concerns New Orleans has upfront.


Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa

If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to watch the Hulk play football, turn on tape of Trevor Penning. Don’t let his lack of Division 1 pedigree fool you, Penning is a mountain of a man who wants to punish anyone who has the gall to line up across from him. He may need time to adjust to the competition level in the NFL, but his size and aggressiveness will allow him to compete as a run blocker right away. His technique in pass sets will need cleaning up, as he relies on his brute strength too often and gets caught with sloppy footwork. Smaller, quicker edge rushers could give him issues on day 1, but he should have no trouble containing bull rushers. Teams would do best not to overthink a prospect with his aggressiveness and work ethic.

Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama

After struggling to break through a crowded receiver room at Ohio State, Williams transferred to Alabama for the 2021 season and shined as their top target. A threat to score from anywhere on the field, Williams caught 79 passes for 1,572 yards and 15 touchdowns and was named a first-team All-American. He will have trouble against big, physical corners pressing him at the line, and his slight frame can lead to him getting pushed around while blocking. However, giving Williams any cushion is a recipe for disaster for opposing defenses. He is a fluid route runner who is not afraid to use his high-level vertical ability and body control to come down with anything in his vicinity. Despite his ACL injury in the national title game, Williams is expected to go early in the draft and make a full recovery.

Bernhard Raimann, OT, Central Michigan

Growing up in Austria, Raimann started playing football with a local club team in Vienna. He would eventually make his way to the United States in high school as an exchange student before enrolling at Central Michigan and starting his college football career at tight end. Not long after that, he bulked up to play left tackle, starting there over each of the past two seasons for the Chippewas. Raimann is an elite athletic specimen, testing exceptionally all across the board at the Scouting Combine, and that athleticism shows up on tape. The main concern for him at this point is his lack of experience playing high-level football, but he has all the tools one could look for in a potential franchise left tackle.


Poll

Who will the Saints select at no. 16?

This poll is closed

  • 83%
    Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa
    (5 votes)
  • 16%
    Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    Bernhard Raimann, OT, Central Michigan
    (0 votes)
6 votes total Vote Now

That’s it for the Saints’ first pick in the draft. Next up is the Los Angeles Chargers with the 17th pick as they look to stock up on talent amid the AFC West arms race. Be sure to vote here and on Twitter (@acmepackingco) to find out who’s being picked.