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New Orleans Saints Mock Draft Roundup 3.0

Throughout the year and leading up to the 2022 NFL Draft, we will update our New Orleans Saints Mock Draft Roundup showing picks for the New Orleans Saints from several prominent sites and draft analysts.

The following are picks in recent mock drafts for the Saints:

CBS Sports - Chris Trapasso (1/20)

18. Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State

Olave gets open frequently and is dynamite when he has to track the ball down the field. The Saints have to prioritize their receiver group this offseason.

ESPN - Mel Kiper (1/19)

18. Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh

The Saints won four of five games to end the season and almost snuck into the playoffs, but their offense was subpar after Jameis Winston tore his ACL in late October. If Winston goes elsewhere in free agency, Sean Payton is going to want a new quarterback to coach up. Taysom Hill, who turns 32 before the start of the 2022 season, hasn't shown enough to be considered their QB of the present nor future.

That's why I see Pickett, who's coming off an efficient 42-touchdown, seven-interception season, as the perfect fit for New Orleans. He took a huge leap in 2021, showing off pinpoint accuracy to every area of the field. He started 49 games in college, so he can play right away for a team that wants to compete for the playoffs. The biggest question I've heard from people in the NFL is one that you might laugh at: hand size. Pickett has small hands -- we'll find out their exact size at the Senior Bowl soon -- and that matters to the teams doing the drafting. If he can play his home games in a dome in New Orleans, that's a plus.

The Athletic - Dane Brugler (1/19)

18. Matt Corral, QB, Mississippi

The Saints are in limbo with their quarterback situation, but Corral could be the answer that Sean Payton has been looking for. The Ole Miss quarterback has the athleticism of Taysom Hill coupled with an explosive arm and passing instincts to create big plays through the air.

PFF - Austin Gayle (1/17)

18. Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati

In an interview on Tailgate last week, analyst Nate Tice made his case for why Cincinnati signal-caller Desmond Ridder should be the first quarterback taken in April's draft. Ridder turned in a career year in the Bearcats' playoff run in 2021, finishing the season with a 90.7 PFF grade. He had never cleared 80.0 in any season prior.

The 6-foot-4, 215-pounder possesses excellent mobility and above-average arm talent for the position, but he is coveted for much more beyond his physical tools. He's proven to be a quick processor with experience operating an offense while consistently working through his progressions, rarely relying on just his first read.

Baltimore Sun - C.J. Doon (1/14)

18. Matt Corral, QB, Mississippi

Given the Saints' tight salary cap situation, adding a quarterback on a cheap rookie contract would be ideal. The 6-1, 205-pound Corral enjoyed two highly productive seasons as the starter in coach Lane Kiffin's offense and would be a great fit with coach Sean Payton because of his arm strength and mobility.

Athlon Sports - Bryan Fischer (1/13)

18. Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State

Sean Payton can't believe his luck in seeing Wilson slip this far. He's tailor-made to score touchdowns in that Saints offense no matter who is the quarterback.

San Diego Union Tribune - Eddie Brown (1/13)

18. Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama

The Saints are either drafting a quarterback or wide receiver in the first round. Williams is a home run hitter with game-breaking speed. He's also a weapon on special teams, as a returner -- he returned two kicks for touchdowns in 2021 -- and in coverage. The dynamic receiver injured his left knee against Georgia, but still grades out as a first-rounder if his rehabilitation is on schedule come April.

USA Today - Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz (1/12)

18. Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh

Sean Payton seemingly pushed New Orleans as far as it could go without some semblance of consistency at quarterback. Identifying more than a patchwork solution has to be the foremost concern this offseason, and Payton won't find a better package of experience and accuracy in the draft than Pickett. The four-year starter's accelerating growth into a Heisman Trophy finalist highlighted that he can thrive in a scheme that helps him harness his aggressiveness.

For The Win - Charles McDonald (1/12)

18. Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State

The Saints desperately need to add wide receiver talent this offseason. They struggled without Michael Thomas and now have a chance to grab a strong #2 receiver to pair with him.

The Draft Network - Joe Marino (1/10)

18. Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State

The Saints again find themselves substantially over the cap and with question marks at the quarterback position. Regardless of who is playing quarterback and the status of Michael Thomas, this team needs more options in the passing game.

Olave has top-end speed, route-running skills, hands, and ball skills. He can challenge every level of the field and could instantly elevate the pass-catching options for the Saints in 2022. They've gambled for too long when it comes to having a deeper arsenal of weapons in the passing game.

MORE TEAMS: All NFL Team Mock Draft Roundups

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