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2021 NFL mock draft: New Orleans Saints select Carlos Basham Jr.

The Saints saw a lot of defensive talent leave to save cap room. Now they’re getting some reinforcements.

North Carolina v Wake Forest Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Are we witnessing the end of the New Orleans Saints? Have we already witnessed it and don’t even know it?

The retirement of Drew Brees is the obvious end of an era, but salary cap gymnastics have somehow kept the Saints more intact than many believed possible. Plus Sean Payton isn’t going anywhere, and neither are superstars like Alvin Kamara or Michael Thomas.

But there is a fair amount of rebuilding to be done in New Orleans, and in our Pride of Detroit Community Mock Draft, it will be on commenter GM in exile to keep the Saints marching on.

Before we get into the selection, see how the board has fallen thus far by checking out our POD Community Mock Draft tracker here.

With the 28th pick in the POD Community Mock, the Saints have selected Wake Forest defensive end Carlos Basham Jr.

Here’s GM in exile explaining the pick:

Last year at this time, the New Orleans Saints had a Super Bowl Or Bust vibe. Heading into the draft, they were one of the most complete teams in the league. They finished 12-4 and made a good play off run. But now Drew Brees has retired, and the Saints are suffering a Capocalypse. Trey Hendrickson, Sheldon Rankins, and Malcom Brown are gone from the D-line. Kwon Alexander is gone. Alex Anzalone is in Allen Park right now looking for a realtor on his iPhone. Janoris Jenkins is gone. Marshon Lattimore is currently in court. Malcolm Jenkins is at the end of the line. Cam Jordan is 31. The cherry on top is the quarterback position—the Saints are going to ride or die with Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill.

It’s not all doom and gloom. The O-line is fine. They still have Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas. The tight end room is reasonable. The Falcons and Panthers are not expected to do much. These Saints could compete for wildcard.

With eight picks in this draft (they had three last year), the Saints need to be patient and realistic. They need a CB, a WR2, and lots of help in the front seven on defense. I considered Greg Newsome II, and I think he has talent. Here’s the thing: he was hurt every stinking year in college. I decided I can get a CB and a WR2 in the third and fourth rounds. As soon as I saw my name next to New Orleans, I decided to focus on the front seven. Carlos Basham is an athletic, high-character guy that can get after the quarterback and slide inside for a sub package. It’s an easy pick to fill an obvious hole. Get a plan, work the plan, and Geaux Saints!

Erik Schlitt’s thoughts:

Basham is an instant replacement for Hendrickson and the way the Saints rotate their defensive ends, there is a role for him as a rookie even if it’s not as a starter. CB Newsome would have also been an interesting choice here, as would have DT Christian Barmore (Alabama), but my choice here would’ve EDGE Azeez Ojulari (Georgia).

Basham’s best fit in the Saints’ scheme would be in the same role Cameron Jordan plays, and with the All-Pro signed through 2023, it may be awhile before Basham gets a chance to start. Meanwhile, Marcus Davenport is in the fourth year of his rookie contract and the Saints may not be able to pick up his fifth-year option with an estimated price tag around $11.5 million. Ojulari is capable of replacing Hendrickson’s role in 2021 and is stylistically an ideal replacement for Davenport in 2022, if they move on.

Poll

What grade do you give the pick?

This poll is closed

  • 16%
    A
    (29 votes)
  • 34%
    B
    (62 votes)
  • 29%
    C
    (53 votes)
  • 8%
    D
    (16 votes)
  • 10%
    F
    (19 votes)
179 votes total Vote Now