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Phinsider community mock draft turns to Saints' pick of pass rusher

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With the 12th overall pick in the Phinsider Community Mock Draft, the New Orleans Saints select...

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The Phinsider Community Mock Draft continues to the 12th pick, edging closer to the halfway point of our mock. The Draft has yet to see a run start on any specific position, with pass rusher the closest to any run. Will we start to see teams picking players to stay ahead of whatever run does start to materialize?

That might happen here, as the New Orleans Saints come on the clock in need of help along their defensive line. They could choose to look inside at defensive tackle, but a pass rusher could be of more importance, especially if they are continuing to run a hybrid defense which needs versatile defensive ends and outside linebackers. New Orleans also needs to add to their secondary this offseason, but may look for a cornerback later in the draft. How will Hollywood Dolfan, who acts as the Saints' front office today, play out the Saints' pick?

With the 12th overall pick in the Phinsider Community Mock Draft, Hollywood Dolfan selects for the New Orleans Saints, Noah Spence, defensive end/linebacker, Eastern Kentucky.

The Saints could really use help on defense all over the field. Defensive line and linebacker are probably the biggest areas of need. I could have gone with one of the defensive tackles at this spot but I think edge rusher is the best value here. And Spence, having played at Ohio State and Eastern Kentucky has experience as both an OLB and a DE, a value to a hybrid defense. Cameron Jordan isn't exactly a speed rusher off the edge and that is what the team as a whole has been lacking.

The Saints also aren't an organization that seems too concerned with character issues so Spence didn't lose points here because of his past. This is a pure talent pick. Spence represents positional value, best player available and position of need. If we were looking to the rest of the draft I think the Saints also have a better chance at picking up a starting DT and ILB on day two than they would pass rusher and that goes towards my thinking here as well.

Analysis

Spence plays right into what the Saints need, giving them that versatility to play either linebacker or defensive end. He will pressure opposing quarterbacks from multiple areas, and, in doing so, he will help the pass defense. This feels a little early for Spence, with Kevin Dodd and Shaq Lawson still on the board, but this could be a case of equally evaluating players, and deciding which one best fits the system.

Completed Draft Picks:

1 - Tennessee Titans - Phinaholic - Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss
2 - Cleveland Browns - xkar25 - DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon
3 - San Diego Chargers - Blaze453 - Jalen Ramsey, S, Florida State
4 - Dallas Cowboys - tapp35 - Myles Jack, LB, UCLA
5 - Jacksonville Jaguars - Agent J 78 - Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State
6 - Baltimore Ravens - scrappy the wildcat - Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida
7 - San Francisco 49ers - Andy in Omaha - Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State
8 - Philadelphia Eagles (from Miami) - dolphinfan4lyfe - Jared Goff, QB, Cal
9 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers - SUTTON - Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
10 - New York Giants - darrel.owen - Leonard Floyd, LB, Georgia
11 - Chicago Bears - Houtz - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
12 - New Orleans Saints - Hollywood Dolfan - Noah Spence, DE/LB, Eastern Kentucky

Next Picks:


13 - Miami Dolphins (from Philadelphia) - Blue or CONZILLA - Posting Thursday morning