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Matt Miller projects top tight end prospect to New Orleans in recent mock draft

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By: Luke Hubbard

Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images

The Saints could use another playmaker for Derek Carr.

ESPN’s Matt Miller, one of their leading NFL Draft experts, recently published his first mock draft since the Senior Bowl wrapped up earlier this week. In this two-round mock draft, Miller has the New Orleans Saints selecting two of the top offensive play makers with their first two picks.

Pick 14 – Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia

2023 SEC Championship - Georgia v Alabama
Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

With the 14th overall pick, Miller has the Saints selecting Georgia TE, Brock Bowers, who is undoubtedly one of the premier players in this draft.

I honestly think this would be a steal. Tight ends don’t usually get drafted this high, but if there was a receiver with Bowers skill set, he’d be going in the top-five (i.e. Marvin Harrison, Rome Odunze, Malik Nabers).

In three seasons at UGA, Bowers totaled 175 catches for 2,538 yards and 26 touchdowns. He averaged 14.5 yards per catch in his career as a tight end. Most receivers don’t even get close to that number.

On top of being an elite pass catcher, Bowers posted a 70+ pass and run block grade every single season he was in college, and in 2021, he posted a 91.2 run block grade. He’s a do-it-all weapon who will instantly make whichever offense he lands at much better.

Pick 45 – Xavier Legette, WR, South Carolina

South Carolina v Georgia
Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

With their second-round pick, Miller has the Saints selecting Xavier Legette, WR from South Carolina.

In most other draft years, Legette would probably be a first round prospect, but this year’s WR class is super deep, so he’ll likely find himself falling to the second round.

Another reason Legette is probably going to fall is because of his age. He’s spent five years in college, and never really did anything noteworthy until this season. From 2019-2022, he never had more than 200 yards receiving, but he absolutely went off in his final season, posting 71 catches for 1,255 yards and seven touchdowns while averaging 17.7 yards per catch.

With Michael Thomas’ departure looking more and more likely, there will be a need at receiver for the Saints. Thomas’ role was playing the short to intermediate crossing routes, and Legette has proven he can do that while also gaining yards after the catch (he averaged 6.4 YAC this season).

Legette is probably the last of the big-name receivers I’d want the Saints to draft just because of his age and he only has one season of tape, but in Miller’s draft, he was the last one left. Both Troy Franklin and Devontez Walker were drafted at 43 and 44, so it seems there’s a realistic opportunity that either of them could make it 45 as well.

If that were the case, I’d expect the Saints to go with one of those two, but you never know how the chips are going to fall on draft day.

Originally posted on Canal Street Chronicles – All Posts