Round 2, 45th Overall: Travis Jones, DL, Connecticut
The defensive line is an impressive group for the New Orleans Saints. They’ve got the athleticism on the edge in Marcus Davenport, who is still developing. Cameron Jordan is a mainstay, and Payton Turner is a fun move piece. The interior is an area that needs more help, as David Onyemata, Shy Tuttle, and Albert Huggins are the only ones under contract.
Adding more juice on the inside is important. As much fun as Perrion Winfrey was to consider here as a gap-attacker, Travis Jones feels like the smarter addition to the unit. Jones jumped on the radar near the end of the 2021 season, especially when scouts and analysts went back to his game against Clemson.
Jones is primarily a nose tackle/one-technique that’ll contribute heavily on early downs. He’s quick out of his stance, has great pop in his hands, and plays with great power to hold his position at the point of attack. Down at the Senior Bowl, Jones proved that he has pass rushing moves other than the bull rush, and showed out of the quickness as well. Combine that pass rushing upside with an impressive display of athleticism, Jones will make an impact early on a defensive line in New Orleans that needs an anchor in the middle.