For the twenty-fourth pick in the second-annual Cincy Jungle Mock Draft, Friar Bob selected for the New Orleans Saints, who have four picks available after gaining Washington's 3rd rounder in the Jammal Brown trade. Here is the pick...
With the twenty-fourth pick in the 2011 Cincy Jungle Mock Draft, the New Orleans Saints select...
Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State
The Saints are coming off a bit of a disappointing season, by the spoiled standards of a team that only one year previously won a Super Bowl. Most embarrassing of all was the unexpectedly early exit from the playoffs. But they also lost other games during the year that they really shouldn't have, to the likes of Arizona and Cleveland, and a few others that had they just been a bit healthier they might could have pulled off after all, such as Atlanta #1, Baltimore, and Tampa #2. Though still a very good team, in the Sean Payton their best years have come when they have had two factors: healthy (and productive) RBs and healthy (and productive) DEs. Last year, the Saints had neither of the above, and worse yet their OL decided to take much of the year off as well. And even though Drew Brees is unarguably an elite QB, he can't do everything completely solo. Nobody can, not even Peyton.
The Saints have several areas of strength. QB is obvious, and their OL/WR/TE are also a strength. RB is decent, but can anybody stay healthy? If Pierre Thomas and Chris Ivory do so, great, but if not, people who worship the theory of Time-Of-Possession will whine and complain until the rest of us want to strangle them. But with a QB like Drew Brees, they'll still have at least a chance, especially if the defense does its part. Speaking of defense, they have some strengths here too: the secondary is excellent, especially CB and FS. They also have a very good MLB, and at least three good to great players who can play DT. Their weaknesses are, of course, the DEs and the OLBs. Finding people who can contribute (and stay healthy) at those positions have to be considered high priorities for the offseason, whether that's in the draft or in free agency (if there is any). Looking to the future, another DT and OT would be useful a year or two down the road.
But their most critical need in the draft has to be considered DE. Will Smith was a joke last year, and he's unfortunately a huge part of the line's success or lack thereof. Worse, he's still got the ridiculous StarCaps situation hanging over his head, and could end up suspended to start the year. As badly as the Saints need to improve the OLB corps as well, they've got to be able to get more sacks without blitzing if they want to go deep in the playoffs. I also considered RB, but there just isn't a superstar RB left available to be worth drafting now that Ingram is gone. I also toyed with the idea of reaching for an OLB, but there doesn't appear to be a first-round-worth target left at that position. And any other offensive player just isn't a first-round need.
This brings us back to DE. Despite the fact that it's considered an area of strength in the draft, the need is just too great. Alex Brown apparently can't put pressure on a wet paper bag, and Smith could be suspended, and everybody else is a bunch of journeymen or newbies. With so many DEs going so fast, I wanted to grab somebody who I could expect to still contribute in the first year while there were still any that good available. Enter Cameron Heyward. Son of Craig "Ironhead" Heyward, the kid has a bit of an "in" with the Saints from the get-go, given that Ironhead was one of the most beloved Saints players of all time (until Drew, at least). I also considered Adrian Clayborn, who is ranked slightly higher by both CBSSports and National Football Post. Both were seen as excellent run defenders, which would be of interest to the Saints, but Adrian didn't seem to be as quite good at the pass rush. So is who is the best fit for the team? I think Cameron is, for one key reason: versatility. Gregg Williams is an absolute fiend for versatile players, and he switches between 4-3 and 3-4 alignments as needed for games, series, or even snaps. Heyward has played both end positions, the 3-technique and the 5-technique. He'll need to be a rotational player as a rookie, as his endurance has been questioned, but I still believe he could contribute a lot, and bringing "home" the son of Ironhead makes the risk worth it.
Cameron Heyward Highlights:
|#||Team||Picked By||Name/Positon of Pick|
|1||Carolina||James Shively||Nick Fairley / DT|
|2||Denver||sexsalad||Patrick Peterson / CB
|3||Buffalo||Elguapo09||Von Miller / OLB
|4||Cincinnati||Jason Garrison +2||A.J. Green / WR
|5||Arizona||Broski||Da'Quan Bowers / DE
|6||Cleveland||Joe Goodberry||Marcell Dareus / DL
|7||San Francisco||Heybrown||Prince Amukamara / CB|
|8||Tennessee||Oxalis||Cam Newton / QB|
|9||Dallas||Jim0ijk||Robert Quinn / DE|
|10||Washington||Pardon_My_French||Blaine Gabbert / QB|
|11||Houston||Joe27||Julio Jones / WR|
|12||Minnesota||CarsonOrBust||Tyron Smith / OL|
|13||Detroit||The_Black_Stripes||Cameron Jordan / DL|
|14||St. Louis||Jaegner||Aldon Smith / DE|
|15||Miami||JaredM||Mark Ingram / RB|
|16||Jacksonville||Whodatchemsit||JJ Watt / DE|
|17||New England (from Oakland / Seymour)||UpStateMike||Anthony Castonzo / OT|
|18||San Diego||Quickslant||Mike Pouncey / OG|
|19||New York Giants||TheDealio||Akeem Ayers / OLB|
|20||Tampa Bay||Doc Scratch||Ryan Kerrigan / DE|
|21||Kansas City||Indesignkat||Corey Liuget / DT|
|22||Indianapolis||Ddbumpus||Nate Solder / OT|
|23||Philadelphia||Buckeyenut12||Gabe Carimi / OT|
|24||New Orleans||FriarBob||Cameron Heyward / DE|
|30||New York Jets||Polo_614|
|32||Green Bay||Sean Weaver|
|33||New England (from Carolina / Armanti Edwards)||UpStateMike|
|35||Cincinnati||Jason Garrison +2|
|46||Denver (from Miami / Brandon Marshall)||sexsalad|
|51||Tampa Bay||Doc Scratch|
|52||New York Giants||TheDealio|
|61||San Diego (from NYJets / Antonio Cromartie)||Quickslant|
|64||Green Bay||Sean Weaver|
|66||Cincinnati||Jason Garrison +2|
|72||New Orleans (from Washington / Jammal Brown)||FriarBob|
|74||New England (from Minnesota / Randy Moss)||UpStateMike|
|83||New York Giants||TheDealio|
|84||Tampa Bay||Doc Scratch|
|89||San Diego (from Seattle / Charlie Whitehurst)||Quickslant|
|94||New York Jets||Polo_614|
|96||Green Bay||Sean Weaver|
Do you agree with this pick?
Yes, I love it! (42 votes)
Good player, but not what the team needs. (7 votes)
Right Position (group), Wrong Player. (8 votes)
No, I don't agree at all. (7 votes)
Mmm... Donuts! (8 votes)
72 total votes