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Asante Samuel Jr. is a popular pick for the Saints in latest NFL mock drafts

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The 2021 NFL draft is just weeks away, so it’s time for another update as mock drafts continue to filter in from around the league’s orbit. Cornerback has become a go-to position for the Saints in recent mock drafts, with linebacker not too far behind in priority; there’s little consensus, though, with New Orleans taking enough hits in free agency to justify reinforcements across the board.

Here are the latest Saints mock draft picks; which prospects would you like to see wearing black and gold once the first round wraps up?

Daniel Jeremiah, NFL.com: CB Asante Samuel Jr., Florida State

Florida State defensive back Asante Samuel Jr. (26) during an NCAA football game on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019 in Tallahassee, Fla. (AP Photo/Gary McCullough)

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“If the Saints don’t make an ultra-aggressive move up the board to grab a sliding quarterback, finding a cornerback who can make plays on the ball would be a priority. Samuel answered any lingering questions about his speed at FSU’s pro day.”

Tom Fornelli, CBS Sports: LB Azeez Ojulari, Georgia

20. Bears – Azeez Ojulari, OLB, Georgia
Ncaa Football Chick Fil A Peach Bowl Georgia Vs Cincinnati

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“Ojulari is versatile and has a lot of potential. He played with his hand in the dirt (or turf) at Georgia, as well as in a two-point stance, and stayed on the field in nearly every situation. He’d be a valuable addition to the New Orleans defense.”

Tommy Garrett, Pro Football Network: CB Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech defensive back Caleb Farley (3) lines up during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Miami, Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

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Caleb Farley showed in 2019 that he could be an elite, lockdown corner, bringing fantastic size to the position. After allowing 28 passing TDs last year, the Saints still need help on the secondary. If that’s the case, why is he available at pick No. 28? Farley’s recent back surgery is scaring NFL teams and has caused his draft stock to fall. Some may have him outside of the first round. While Farley’s camp continues to downplay the injury, saying he will be ready for camp, the once CB1 in 2021 has teams nervous. With that being said, the Saints did a good job of maintaining their nucleus of talent, and the potential upside of Farley is too significant to ignore.”

Todd McShay, ESPN: WR Elijah Moore, Ole Miss

Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

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“The cap-strapped Saints roster took a hit in March, with multiple impact players heading elsewhere for more money or, in the case of Drew Brees, retiring. Will it be Jameis Winston or Taysom Hill at quarterback — or both? Regardless, New Orleans has to have more weapons in the pass game, especially with Emmanuel Sanders and Jared Cook not coming back. Moore operates mainly out of the slot, and he has the hands and burst to pick up big chunks of yardage. He was second in the nation to DeVonta Smith in catches and yards last season.”

Ben Linsey, Pro Football focus: CB Asante Samuel Jr., Florida State

Florida State defensive back Asante Samuel Jr. (26) intercepts a pass intended for Virginia running back Billy Kemp IV (80) during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Shurtleff)

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“The release of Janoris Jenkins and the uncertainty surrounding Marshon Lattimore amid criminal charges and an expiring rookie contract almost makes it a necessity for New Orleans to address cornerback early in the 2021 NFL Draft. Samuel sitting here at the back end of the first round would be an ideal outcome from both a value and need perspective. Samuel is coming off a 2020 season at Florida State where he allowed a passer rating of 46.2 on throws into his coverage. He has the kind of instincts and movement skills that give him a real chance at success outside despite being undersized.”

Mike Tannenbaum, ESPN: LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame

Notre Dame linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (6) defends against Alabama during the Rose Bowl NCAA college football game in Arlington, Texas, Friday, Jan. 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

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“I see Owusu-Koramoah as a hybrid defender in the NFL, and he’s not the type of player you’ll often see on the open market. The Saints could use him in a lot of different ways, including at weakside linebacker or in the “overhang” position. Among the other players I thought about for a variety of areas: Wake Forest edge rusher Carlos Basham Jr., Alabama defensive tackle Christian Barmore, Texas linebacker Joseph Ossai and a handful of receivers. One thing to know: According to Pro Football Focus, Owusu-Koramoah took 195 snaps along the defensive line, 433 in the box and 680 in the slot over the past two seasons.”

, CBS Sports: DE Jaelan Phillips, Miami

Oct 10, 2020; Clemson, South Carolina, USA; Clemson Tigers quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) throws to running back Travis Etienne (9) against Miami Hurricanes defensive line Jaelan Phillips (15) during the first quarte at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports

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“We love the idea of Phillips being part of an edge-rush rotation that includes Cam Jordan and Marcus Davenport, making an already formidable defense even more so.”

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