After opening this series with players the New Orleans Saints should target in the first round, I would usually move on to second round prospects that would look good in the Black & Gold. Thanks to Roger Goodell and his search for the invisible bounty system, the Saints are without one.
So instead, we move our attention to the next pick that currently resides in NOLA. That would be the eleventh pick in the third round.
The good thing about picking in the top half of the third round is that, in a draft as deep as this one, you will still end up with a very good player and, possibly, a day one starter.
The prospects in this area vary from tight end to nose tackle to cornerback and just about everything in between. These guys would be the best picks for the Saints in third round.
Brandon Williams, NT, Missouri Southern St., 6' 2" 341 lbs.
Williams' draft stock ranges from low second round to high fourth round, but he shouldn't get past the Saints in the third round if available. The nose tackle is the hardest position to fill when switching from a 4-3 to 3-4. Very rarely does a team already have a defensive tackle that can be that space eater while giving up little on the stat sheet. Brodrick Bunkley could be that, temporarily, but Williams would be the ideal fit.
For his size, Williams is more agile than you would think and rushing the passer will be one of his undervalued attributes that will make him dominate for years to come.
Margus Hunt, DE, SMU, 6' 8" 277 lbs.
The beast from Estonia has an 82-inch wingspan and oozes with potential. He is definitely a project, but his stock has been another one that has had a wide range to it. Before the Senior Bowl, he was talked about as a potential first round pick, but that would be a little too high for him, in my eyes. He has settled in now around the late second-early third range, but I could see a team that really likes grabbing him high in the second.
If the Saints were to use Akiem Hicks at nose tackle, a line of him, Hunt and Cameron Jordan could be dominant for years to come.
NFL Draft 2013: 3rd Round Targets for the New Orleans Saints
Canal Street Chronicles | Feb 26