Will Saints Double-Dip At Linebacker In The 2nd Round?


The New Orleans Saints should have a good deal of options as they return to the 2015 NFL Draft tonight.

Big Easy Believer.com’s editor Barry Hirstius wrote about some of those options the Saints have going into Day 2.

The Saints have a little room to play in the third round with two picks but only have one second round pick.

Luckily this pick is early at 44th overall and some value players should be there when they make their selection.

Mike Triplett of ESPN actually proposed a unique scenario to Nick Underhill of The Advocate following the end of the first round Thursday night.

Of course the Kendricks that they are referring to is inside linebacker Eric Kendricks of UCLA.

Sep 25, 2014; Tempe, AZ, USA; Arizona State Sun Devils wide receiver Jaelen Strong (21) runs with the ball as UCLA Bruins linebacker Eric Kendricks (6) pursues during the second half at Sun Devil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Kendricks was thought to be a possible late first round talent and I’ll admit that’s who I thought the Saints were selecting at #31 if they were picking a linebacker.

After the selection of Stephone Anthony at #31, head coach Sean Payton said that he sees him as middle linebacker or Mike.

With Triplett’s scenario, if the Saints are able to select someone like Kendricks then he would be the weakside or Will linebacker.

It’s actually a very interesting idea since in most of the scouting reports for Kendricks, they comment on his coverage abilities which is an assignment given to 3-4 defense weakside linebackers.

Draft analyst Mike Detillier said in his report:

"Kendricks flows in reverse quite well and he is good in the coverage part of the game.  Tracks the ball quickly in flight."

NFL.com stated in their analysis that he is “able to cover man-to-man in space”.

CBSSports.com commented on Kendricks intelligence on playing get the pass saying he “undercuts routes to get his hands on the ball”.

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The Saints have been lacking in a true weakside linebacker that could take care of coverage duties such as that for a long time.

At 6’0″, 232 lbs.  Kendrick is light on his feet and very fluid when moving across the field.

On top of his 481 career tackles at UCLA, he also has 8 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 5 interceptions, and 16 passes defended.

Oct 3, 2013; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; UCLA Bruins lineacker Eric Kendricks (6) intercepts a pass against the Utah Utes at Rice-Eccles Stadium. UCLA defeated Utah 34-27. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Of course Kendricks might be a long shot to make it down to the 44th pick with the Saints and I’d be surprised(pleasantly) if he did.

Sticking with the same scenario though the Saints could select Denzel Perryman of Miami or even TCU’s Paul Dawson to take the Will role if they choose to do so.

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Both have been looked over by the Saints and met with them throughout the draft process.

While Payton said that there were some “good pass rushers that are still there” and hoped to be able to select one on Day 2, that could mean even in the third round.

The Saints could very well be ready to “double-dip” into the linebacker pool of prospects and lock two positions down………..

Next: Saints Draft Day 2 Possible 2nd and 3rd Round Targets