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New Orleans Saints Mock Draft Roundup 6.0

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:

SI - Kevin Hanson (4/1)

18. Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State

While re-signing Jameis Winston to a two-year deal and bringing in Andy Dalton to back him up doesn't rule out a quarterback here, the Saints may be better off upgrading the weapons to whom Winston will throw. Since leading the NFL in receiving yards in 2019, Michael Thomas has played only seven games (none last year).

Olave creates easy separation as one of the most polished route-runners in this year's draft class. Due to his speed and ability to track the ball well, he can be a weapon in the vertical passing game and would complement Thomas well. He finished his Ohio State career with a school record for receiving touchdowns (35) and averaged 15.4 yards per catch.

CBS Sports - Kyle Stackpole (4/1)

18. Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama

The Saints' passing attack would look much different in 2022 if Jameis Winston had Michael Thomas and Williams to heave the ball to (in addition to All-Pro all-purpose back Alvin Kamara). Those are legitimate weapons as New Orleans aims to extend its playoff window under new head coach Dennis Allen.

Yahoo! Sports - Eric Edholm (3/31)

18. Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State

Assuming Michael Thomas remains in the picture, the Saints could use a complementary weapon, and Olave fits that to a tee. He can be the downfield option for Jameis Winston, whose best strength is the deep ball. Left tackle is another glaring need, but there's better value at receiver.

ESPN - Mike Tannenbaum (3/30)

18. Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa

Penning is a perfect fit to replace Terron Armstead, who signed with Miami. He's tough and physical at the line of scrimmage, and he'd keep the offensive line as one of the Saints' strengths. Penning turned in a fantastic combine workout, which included the fifth-fastest 10-yard split in the 40-yard dash among linemen (1.65), despite weighing in at 325 pounds.

NFL.com - Bucky Brooks (3/29)

18. Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa

The loss of Terron Armstead, who signed in Miami after manning the left-tackle spot in New Orleans for the past several seasons, creates a void on the edges. Penning is a rock-solid offensive tackle with a nasty disposition and a grown man's game.

The Draft Network - Brentley Weissman (3/28)

18. Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh

I'll probably catch some flack with this pick but that's OK. The Saints signed Jameis Winston to a team-friendly deal to be their quarterback but that certainly shouldn't stop them from adding one in the draft if they fall in love with one of these passers. I have Kenny Pickett graded as my top quarterback in the class and worthy of a first-round pick. He throws with excellent anticipation and accuracy and has good overall arm strength and athleticism. He would give the Saints a potential long-term option at the position.

The Athletic - Beat Writer Mock (3/28)

18. Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State

Katherine Terrell: Some might say the Saints should wait to take a receiver, and after the departure of Terron Armstead, I'm not going to rule out an offensive tackle. But New Orleans showed it was in desperate need of help at wideout last season. Things look good for the Saints to get Michael Thomas back, but that's not going to be enough. They need more weapons, and they've had a lot of success going to the Ohio State well (Thomas included). Olave already considers Thomas one of his role models, but more importantly, he has 4.39-second 40-yard dash speed and can stretch the field, providing a nice complement to Thomas. After last year, it's clear help on the offensive side is a must.

Brugler: Jameis Winston is back in the fold, but Kenny Pickett has to be in the conversation here, even with the Saints seemingly in win-now mode. Honestly, I don't think Pickett makes it past New Orleans, but I agree with the reasoning on why Olave would be a great fit. His smooth athleticism and NFL-ready route running would pay immediate dividends for a team that believes its playoff window is still open.

PFF - Austin Gayle (3/28)

18. Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati

Jameis Winston simply isn't the future at the quarterback position for the Saints or any NFL team. He's yet to show any reason otherwise, at least. New Orleans can initiate its search for a franchise signal-caller while prioritizing rookie contracts at premium positions to positively impact the team's current cap situation by selecting Ridder or another quarterback at No. 18.

Ridder is a legit athlete at 6-foot-3, 211 pounds with more than 1,500 career collegiate dropbacks under his belt. Compared to the other top quarterbacks in the 2022 class, he is best positioned to start right away. He earned a career-high 90.7 PFF grade and made 26 big-time throws in the Bearcats' College Football Playoff run last season.

MORE TEAMS: All NFL Team Mock Draft Roundups

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