New Orleans Saints 7-round Mock Draft: Surprise selection has Derek Carr looking over his shoulder

Saints make some noise in this 2024 NFL Mock Draft.
New Orleans Saints
New Orleans Saints / Winslow Townson/GettyImages
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The New Orleans Saints just missed the playoffs with a 9-8 record in 2023 which had them tied with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the top of the division.  With Derek Carr settling in at quarterback, the team was competitive, but need to use the 2024 NFL Draft to fill some needs to make them a playoff contender.

Saints Executive Vice President/General Manager Mickey Loomis is planning on attacking the draft by finding players of value, starting with the No. 14 overall pick.  Will that be an offensive player, particularly an offensive lineman? 

2024 NFL Draft class is filled with offensive talent

In addressing the media on Tuesday, Loomis acknowledge the 2024 NFL Draft has a deep pool of offensive players.

"I think it's a good year for offensive players. That's probably the way I'd put it," Loomis said. "A little better offensively than defensively, and yet, I just know that three or four years from now we're going to look back and there's going to be some great defensive players come out of this draft and we're going to say, 'Why didn't we see that?' Or, 'It should have been obvious.'

"I think everyone would say that the offensive line is a position of strength in this draft, and wide receivers. But there are players at every position. It's just a matter of how we look at them versus some of these other clubs."

So, let’s take a look at our projections of what the Saints will do in this 7-round NFL Mock Draft.

. player. . OT, Washington. Troy Fautanu. Troy Fautanu. . Troy Fautanu. 14. 15

The Saints address their offensive line needs with the selection of former Washington Huskies offensive tackle Troy Fautanu.

2024 NFL Draft prospect Troy Fautanu selected by the New Orleans Saints in this 2024 NFL Mock Draft
Washington's Troy Fautanu / Alika Jenner/GettyImages

Standing at 6-foot-4, 317 pounds, Fautanu is ranked as the third best tackle in the draft by PFF.  It is his athleticism and versatility that stands out for an offensive lineman who blocks with tenacity and balance.  In protecting Michael Penix Jr., Fautanu knows how to protect a star quarterback in the passing game but will need to work on consistency in his run-blocking technique.

Overall, a selection that takes care of the Saints biggest need entering the 2024 NFL Draft.  With the team still hoping 2022 first-round pick Trevor Penning to live up to expectations, the Saints will have two young tackles with the talent to be very good.  If Penning can find his footing and Fautanu comes as advertise, suddenly the Saints will fix one of their must have positions entering the draft.

Boy would that make Derek Carr a happy man.