2017 Mock Draft pick 11 – New Orleans Saints – Gareon Conley CB Ohio State

The Saints have made a couple of jaw dropping trades over the last few years. They shipped Jimmy Graham to Seattle, and most recently traded Brandin Cooks to the Patriots for the 32nd pick in the draft. (there were some other details, but Cooks for the pick is the gist of the trade). The big problem for the Saints is that they are in salary cap purgatory. Not quite to Hades, but no where near Heaven in their current state. When a team gets to salary cap Hades it is a multi year project to get rid of all of the dead money on the cap and be to the point where you can add good players. The reverse of that coin is that you also have to draft well. Oakland is a prime example of this. Just a few years ago the Raiders had almost 40% of their cap tied up in dead money. They have drafted well managed the cap well and likely would have made a deep run in the playoffs except for the injury to Derek Carr.

Mickey Loomis has done an insane job managing the cap for the Saints. Having Drew Brees and Sean Payton on the offensive side of the ball covers a lot of defensive mistakes, but leaves very little margin for error. The window for the Saints is closing, if not closed already, but they are all in on trying this season. I am not sure where they go here honestly, and this pick could be DL, DE, LB, or who knows. They do have the 32nd pick to also address holes on the team. They need a cover guy and Gareon Conley is likely that guy. He has been overshadowed  by Marshon Lattimore for most of his time at Ohio State, but Conley is likely the better pick. He is a workout machine and does not have the injury history that Lattimore does. Conley is 6’0″ 195 and has the speed that the NFL needs. He is not flashy and may not have the max ceiling that others have, but he also has the highest floor.

With pick 11 the New Orleans Saints select Gareon Conley CB Ohio State.