2012 NFL Draft - New Orleans Saints

Posted Apr 28, 2012

New Orleans Saints - NFC South, 2012 Draft Selections & Prospects

New Orleans Saints

2012 NFL Draft Team Analysis - AFC
EAST Buffalo | Miami | New England | NY Jets
WEST Denver | Kansas CityOakland | San Diego
NORTH Baltimore | Cincinnati  Cleveland | Pittsburgh
SOUTH Houston | Indy | Jacksonville | Tennessee

2012 NFL Draft Team Analysis - NFC
EAST Dallas | NY Giants | Philadelphia | Washington
WEST Arizona | San Francisco | Seattle | St. Louis
NORTH Chicago | Detroit | Green Bay | Minnesota
SOUTH Atlanta | Carolina | New Orleans | Tampa Bay   

- 2011 New Orleans Draft Breakdown
- 2010 New Orleans Draft Breakdown

The Draft Was ... not going to help. Hamstrung after the punishments from bountygate, the Saints couldn't do much to make a move. WR Nick Toon in the fourth round was a good grab, and DT Akiem Hicks is an interesting gamble on a huge body in the third round, but the entire franchise is in a holding pattern and this draft reflected it.
Best Value Pick: WR Nick Toon, Wisconsin 4th round
Worst Value Pick: DT Akiem Hicks, Regina, 3rd round
They Should've ... found a pass rusher for the defensive line. Hicks is an interesting prospect with elite tools, but he's a project. Clemson's Brandon Thompson went four picks later and would've been a far safer selection. Getting a corner, like Virginia Tech's Jayron Hosley, would've also helped.
Division Draft Ranking: 4
Overall Draft Ranking: 32

Third Round

DT Akiem Hicks, Regina (Sask.) 6-4, 318
Overall Pick No. 89 CFN Overall Ranking: 240
CFN Analysis: A total stretch for a team without a ton of draft picks, he's a versatile tackle who might be used as an end at times. He's not going to be a starter early on, but he should be able to provide some depth while he develops. The upside is great, but this isn't a pick for right now. The Saints could've used a defensive tackle for right now.

A rare specimen, the former LSU Tiger is huge but can move. A true 4-3 end who can sit inside as a 4-3 tackle if needed, he swallows up everything against the run and moves shockingly well. Able to play almost anywhere up front he could be a top reserve if he can't find a starting job. The straight-line speed isn't there, but he's athletic and surprisingly quick off the ball. However, he needs a ton of work and seasoning, and he'll have to show he's ready to play up to his size with the big boys and is willing to work. He has a body and abilities that can't be coached, but everything else will need to be molded.
CFN Projection: Fifth Round

Fourth Round

WR Nick Toon, Wisconsin 6-1, 215
Overall Pick No. 122 CFN Overall Ranking: 93
Extremely safe, there's a high floor and he's not going to bust, but there isn't any one thing he does to stand out. He has a nice blend of size, speed and athleticism, and he can be used in every system and be a smooth producer right out of the box. Hands aren't a problem, he's tough, and he's able to work across the middle and work his way deep. Physical, he'll block but he'll also get banged up; he'll always have to fight through a slew of dings. Some team will be happy to get him in the middle of the draft knowing exactly what it'll get, but again, there aren't any elite tools to be anything more than a decent complementary receiver.
CFN Projection: Third Round

Fifth Round

S Corey White, Samford 6-0, 206
Overall Pick No. 162 CFN Overall Ranking: Unranked
With good size and just enough speed to get by, he's a versatile defender who projects to be a safety but has enough athleticism to be a corner. He's not a blazer, but he moves well and he's a good hitter who isn't afraid to get his nose dirty. There's not enough overall talent to be a productive defender at an NFL level, but he has just enough tool-wise to find a role as a key backup and special teamer.
CFN Projection: Free Agent

Sixth Round

OG Andrew Tiller, Syracuse 6-4, 324
Overall Pick No. 179 CFN Overall Ranking: 173
A strong run blocker with the right fight and the right attitude to destroy a defender, he's durable, reliable, and consistent. With the right NFL body, he looks the part and has the power to match when he gets the leverage on a defender. Fighting isn't a problem; he doesn't take plays off. The biggest issue will be keeping his weight under wraps. While he slimmed down in a big way to get to around 320, he's going to have to really, really work to make sure he doesn't balloon back up. Not an athlete, he's not going to move too much outside of the box and he's not going to get down the field, but when it comes to burying the man in front of him, he can do that.
CFN Projection: Third Round

Seventh Round

OT Marcel Jones, Nebraska 6-6, 320
Overall Pick No. 234 CFN Overall Ranking: 175
There's a lot of work that needs to be done, and there's a big red flag when it comes to durability, but he's a pure tackle with the right frame and enough promise to be a good chance pick to take in the mid-rounds. He's not going to get any bigger with a maxed out frame, but he doesn't need more bulk to be a steady right tackle; he needs to get stronger. He only came up with 13 reps on the bench at the Combine and he could stand to be functionally stronger. While he's not fast, he's a good athlete who slides and moves extremely well. A great character guy, he'll do what's needed to make himself better, but he'll have to take care of his body and will have to fight through some steady bumps and bruises. He was never right throughout his Husker career.
CFN Projection: Fifth Round