I’ve been back and forth on whom the Saints should draft.
It started out with Bud Dupree being the guy. Then it moved to a defensive tackle. And in my next mock, because the top of the draft is changing every day with new character issues and developments, Louisville wide receiver DeVante Parker was almost my pick.
But now that the draft is here, the guy I believe would be the best fit for the Saints’ defense is Clemson edge rusher Vic Beasley.
It might not be feasible. With Shane Ray likely taking himself out of the running for the top 15, the top edge rushers — Florida’s Dante Fowler, Kentucky’s Dupree and Beasley — could be out of reach for New Orleans at No. 13.
The Saints might have to pray he falls to them.
And they should pray. Hard. For what this team needs out of the draft, Beasley fits better than just about everyone else available.
Need a pass rush? He recorded 25 sacks over the past two seasons. He gets after the quarterback as well as, if not better, than anyone else in this class. He knows how to set up his moves, has the speed to win to the outside, and can bend the edge. He can also track the run from sideline to sideline and has good inside moves, though he might be susceptible to outside runs since he struggles to set the edge at times.
His initial fit with the Saints is debatable. He could be a situational player at first, because it could be dangerous to have Beasley and Junior Galette rushing off the edges on early downs. Those two might have to split snaps and only take the field together in obvious passing situations.
But with those two coming off the edges, it would make life miserable for opposing quarterbacks. With an improved secondary, this is the one area where New Orleans has to get better. And with the edges set, Cam Jordan could move to defensive tackle in nickel sets, thus solving the need for a better inside push.
Beasley is the guy who can answer those questions. If I’m the Saints, I’d spend this last night before the draft hoping and wishing that somehow, some way, Beasley falls into their range.