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APC Community Mock Draft 2022: The Saints are on the clock at No. 19

The Saints are ready to send in the card at pick 19 after the Eagles selected Sauce Gardner at 18.

Syndication: The Greenville News Ken Ruinard / staff / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Philadelphia Eagles predictably took Sauce Gardner with their 18th pick in our Community Mock after a slight clerical error on my end caused the standout corner to fall in the draft. Gardner will start as Philadelphia’s CB2 on day 1 and eventually take Darius Slay’s place as the top corner on the team.

The Saints recently acquired the 16th and 19th picks from the Eagles in a trade-up and it’s unclear what their plans are right now. This could be more ammo to trade up for a QB or just a way to fill the holes left from the team escaping cap hell this offseason. 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. New Orleans let go of two premium players in safety Marcus Williams and offensive tackle Terron Armstead, leaving holes at those positions.

Bernhard Raimann is the top-ranked tackle left on the board and would give the Saints a blindside protector for whoever their future quarterback is. 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.

Daxton Hill has had recent first-round buzz and it’s possible the Saints pick the Michigan safety here to replace Marcus Williams. They signed Marcus Maye in free agency but Hill’s range is closer to what Williams brought to the team and his versatility will always be a nice tool for a defensive coordinator. His ability to line up as a slot corner is something the Saints coveted in Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, meaning the two young safeties could the interchangeable. As of now, Daniel Sorensen projects to get big snaps on this team, so drafting a safety is a high priority. A pure cornerback like Andrew Booth could also be in play here depending on the Saints’ belief in last year’s third-round pick, Paulson Adebo. He is currently their CB2 of the future, but a tandem of Booth and Marshon Lattimore would certainly be frightening for opposing quarterbacks.


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.

(Note: this post initially listed Trevor Penning in this spot, and in the poll below. However, Penning was mocked previously to the Chargers with the 17th pick. Votes for Penning will be treated as votes for Raimann at this pick.)

Daxton Hill, S, Michigan

Hill was a first-team all big 10 selection in 2021 as he recorded 70 tackles, two interceptions, and nine pass breakups. A versatile defender, Hill has spent time at both safety and nickel and is smooth in his movements due to fantastic athleticism and a 4.38 40 time. He is able to anticipate routes and close quickly on routes from the free safety spot. Hill is a willing tackler and will impress teams with his competitive toughness. His speed and explosiveness combined with his range and versatility should get his name called fairly early this April.

Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson

Booth Jr. was a standout for Clemson in 2021 despite their disappointing season. The CB led the team with three interceptions and added five pass breakups on his way to a Second Team All-ACC nod. Booth is a physical corner with good size and the agility needed to close on throws and make plays. He is an aggressive tackler but occasionally leaves his feet too early and whiffs. Hip fluidity and balance allow him to excel in man and zone coverage and his burst helps cover any mistakes. Booth has been limited in the pre-draft process due to injury but should still see his name called in the first round.


Poll

Who will the Saints select at 19?

This poll is closed

  • 66%
    Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa
    (110 votes)
  • 15%
    Daxton Hill, S, Michigan
    (25 votes)
  • 18%
    Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson
    (30 votes)
165 votes total Vote Now

The Saints’ 19th pick is in the books as we barrel towards the last third of the draft. Tomorrow, the Steelers and Patriots are on the clock as the two AFC stalwarts look to get back to contention. Be sure to check back here for the results and don’t forget to vote on Twitter (@acmepackingco).