The NFL Draft Combine has come and gone for 2024, and we saw some eye-popping performances. We saw Texas wide receiver Xavier Worthy break the 40 yard dash speed record, then Holy Cross offensive lineman CJ Hanson came out of nowhere for a 9'7 broad jump, and Michigan quarterback JJ McCarthy shot up draft boards once he started talking to teams.

However, none of those three players we just mentioned are inline to be selected by the New Orleans Saints in the first round of the NFL Draft.

In the 2024 NFL Draft, the Saints are picking at 14th overall in the first round, unless there's a trade to be made. But we're not going to get into the weeds on predicting a trade, we're just going to look at what the Saints are planning to do if they have to make a pick at 14. Which is probably going to be based on need.

Looking over what most NFL insiders are saying, the Saints will need an offensive tackle, edge rusher, corner back, or defensive lineman. While a lot of fans would like to see the team get a top level offensive line prospect, those might not be available at the spot the Saints are picking. So a lot of the mock drafts think the Saints will end up with a defensive player.

After seeing the draft prospects run through drills, the Saints might have a better idea of the players they're going to target. Based on some of the reports coming out of the Combine, these are the players the Saints might target...

Nebraska v Illinois
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Jer'Zhan "Johnny" Newton is a defensive lineman from Illinois that the Saints might be falling in love with. He's a big body, coming in over 6'1 and 300 lbs at the Combine measurements. While his numbers don't blow you away (27.5 tackles for loss and 3 forced fumbles in 47 games) his ratings from Pro Football Focus (PFF) did catch some attention. PFF says he generated 43 quarterback hurries last season, and 59 the year before. So even without the numbers showing up on paper, he is a disruptive force for sure.

Montana State v Oregon State
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If the Saints do decide to go with an offensive lineman, Taliese Fuaga from Oregon State might be their guy. He ran a 5.13 40 yard dash and came in with a 32 inch vertical leap. His NFL NexGen Stats rated his "Combine Production Score" as an 83, which was the 4th best combine performance out of offensive tackles.

Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

One of the options being floated for the Saints right now is defensive end Laiatu Latu from UCLA. Unlike the lackluster stats Newton put on paper at Illinois, Latu comes with a resume. That includes 23.5 sacks and 34 tackles for loss in the last two seasons.

Latu would probably be considered a top 5 pick, if not for his injury history. He suffered a career threatening neck injury a few years ago, and had to undergo neck fusion surgery.

At the combine, he put together the most productive score according to Pro Football Focus among edge rushers. Which again, should make him a very high draft pick, but the injury concern could push him out of the top 10, and into the waiting arms of the New Orleans Saints.

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