With the 56th pick of Pride of Detroit's 2011 NFL Mock Draft, the New Orleans Saints select Illinois running back Mikel Leshoure. Davis0169 is serving as the Saints' general manager, and his reasoning for the pick is below.
I addressed the D with the first pick to strengthen the secondary and even with my blunder of looking up stats from two years ago, Harris was actually a good pick for the Saints. While they did improve their stats from bottom of the league to 10th against the run and 11th against the pass, they were third in passing yards per game and a miserable 28th running the ball. Now I believe that the bad run game comes from two major issues they had last year. The first was two key injuries to their two starting RBs in the 2010 season. Second they have Drew Brees, who can toss the ball all over the field with great accuracy.
I can't believe that Mikel Leshoure is still on the board at this point in our draft. Talk about round hole and round peg; this is a perfect fit for that offense. In Leshoure not only do you get a bayou French-like name but a versatile back that does it all. The Saints have a plethora of RBs in the stable as of now, but again, with all the injuries they sustained last year they should be happy as kids in a candy store to see Leshoure come in here. Mikel should have gone at the end of the first round or beginning of the second round, because he is a stud at the RB position who will end up having more all-purpose yards from scrimmage than Mark Ingram if he gets the start in NO. In Mikel you get a true blend of a guy who has power and speed with the hands of a WR. At 6'0" and 232 lbs. he is an all-purpose back who is going to create problems for every coordinator that the Saints will face for years to come.
As a guy who got to see a lot of him at Illinois, Leshoure does it all. He can run between the tackles; he can bounce it outside; and he is a patient runner who allows his blockers to get out in front of him and get downfield like he did against the Buckeyes, and, well most of the Big 10 last year. This is possibly the steal of the draft so far!
Check out the 2011 Pride of Detroit Community Mock Draft tracker for a look at all of the picks.