Five players who could be in the mix when the Saints make their first pick:
DE KONY EALY
SINCE HE POSSESSES GREAT SIZE AND ATHLETICISM, SOME EXPERTS COMPARE EALY TO RAMS DEFENSIVE END ROBERT QUINN, WHO HAD 19 SACKS LAST YEAR. HE HAS PLAYED ALL ALONG THE DEFENSIVE LINE AND ALSO LINED UP AT OUTSIDE LINEBACKER, WHERE HE COULD USE HIS POWER AND SPEED OFF THE EDGE TO GET A BEAD ON THE QUARTERBACK.
DE DEE FORD
While he was an All-Southeastern Conference first-team pick of the league’s coaches last fall, Ford really opened the eyes of NFL scouts at the Senior Bowl with his speed off the edge. He had 12.5 tackles behind the line and 8.5 sacks last season but can also drop into coverage using his 4.59 speed in the 40.
CB KYLE FULLER
He has the height teams are looking for these days and shows toughness. He has 4.40 speed in the 40 and, when he isn’t covering receivers downfield, doesn’t mind doing the dirty work. He’s a four-year starter who also has played some safety.
WR MARQISE LEE
A fluid athlete with 4.43 speed, Lee poses problems for cornerbacks with his change of direction and can elude press coverage at the line of scrimmage despite his slight build. He made the tough catches in traffic in college with his leaping ability, registering a 38-inch vertical jump at the NFL combine.
CB JASON VERRETT
The co-defensive player of the year in the Big 12 in 2013, he shut down some of the league’s top wideouts despite a nagging shoulder injury. An aggressive player with 4.36 speed, he broke up 22 passes as a junior in 2012 and finished his three-year career with 43 passes defensed and nine interceptions.